Thursday, May 23, 2024

F1: Horner admits he was not approached by Lewis Hamilton

Christian Horner Red Bull

FILE– Crimson Bull staff principal Christian Horner. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger

Crimson Bull staff chief Christian Horner on Friday admitted he had not been approached by seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton about becoming a member of his staff.

He additionally made clear the one contact he acquired had come from his father Anthony Hamilton, who ended his administration of his son’s racing profession in 2010.

Chatting with reporters throughout a information convention on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Horner admitted he had had no “severe dialogue” with Hamilton.

This got here after Horner had instructed the Every day Mail newspaper that there had been “an inquiry” from Hamilton about the potential of driving for Crimson Bull subsequent season, earlier than he signed a two-year extension to his contract with Mercedes.

Hamilton on Thursday denied these claims, suggesting Horner was “stirring issues up”.

“I’ve not approached Christian. I haven’t spoken to Christian for years,” he mentioned.

“I’ve checked with everybody and nobody from my staff has reached out to him. There aren’t any confidential discussions. You recognize Christian… he loves that form of stuff.”

On Friday, Horner mentioned: “It’s exceptional how a lot traction this has obtained so thanks to the Every day Mail for going solely giant on this merchandise.

“I imply, it’s a query of ‘He mentioned, she mentioned, who mentioned, what mentioned’… It’s completely regular for drivers, drivers’ representatives and drivers’ dad and mom to have completely different conversations through the course of the 12 months.”

Hamilton has pushed for Mercedes since becoming a member of from McLaren for the 2013 season, profitable six drivers’ world titles with the staff.

“And look, you recognize, we haven’t had any severe dialogue with Lewis. There was by no means a seat out there,” added Horner.

“I’ve recognized Anthony Hamilton for a few years. He’s a great man. He’s a proud racing father and inevitably, when drivers undergo powerful spots — and let’s face it, Lewis hasn’t received a Grand Prix for 2 years — it’s inevitable questions might be requested up and down the paddock.

“However there was by no means any engagement and I don’t know who represents who or what, however with the identical surname, you’ll assume they have been fairly shut…

“It’s tough to say, however aside from pleasantries, there was no particular ‘Can I drive for Crimson Bull subsequent 12 months?’.”

 ‘Doubt I used to be just one’

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (L) and Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen celebrate on the podium after the Formula One Mexico Grand Prix at the Hermanos Rodriguez racetrack in Mexico City on October 29, 2023.

Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton (L) and Crimson Bull Racing’s Dutch driver Max Verstappen rejoice on the rostrum after the System One Mexico Grand Prix. Verstappen received the race whereas Hamilton positioned second. (Picture by CLAUDIO CRUZ / AFP)

He mentioned he didn’t assume Mercedes could be shocked to be taught that anybody from Hamilton’s staff made contact with Crimson Bull.

“He’s probably the most profitable driver of all time and hasn’t received a Grand Prix since 2021 so that you haven’t obtained to be a rocket scientist to work that out.

“And I doubt that I used to be the one one which there was an inquiry made to… Now, what the dynamics are inside any given relationship? I don’t know… I’m not aware of that, however inevitably questions are going to be requested.

“There’s probably not rather more to say. Quite a bit has been made from one thing pretty innocuous.”

Horner’s remaining feedback could have been a response to Hamilton’s abstract on Thursday when the Briton mentioned: “When you actually give it some thought, there are lots of people right here who actually wish to drop my title in conversations as a result of they know it’ll make waves.

“And in case you are somewhat bit lonely and aren’t getting a lot consideration that’s the excellent factor to do — simply point out my title.”

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Hamilton has constantly pledged his loyalty and assist to Mercedes since controversially lacking out on his eighth world title to Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi two years in the past.

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