Lewis Hamilton hit back at Christian Horner‘s claims that his representative had approached Red Bull about driving for the team in 2024, and sensationally added the team principal had actually reached out to him instead.
Speaking ahead of the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Hamilton said Horner had asked whether they could meet for a ‘catch-up’ at the end of the season to discuss future plans.
The Daily Mail released an exclusive interview with Horner who said Hamilton consulted Red Bull and Ferrari before signing with Mercedes for 2024 and 2025, and he was asked whether he did reach out to Milton Keynes.
“No, I did not. I checked with everyone on my team and no one’s spoken to them, but they have tried to reach out to us,” Hamilton told the media.
“I picked up my old phone, which I’d just found home that had my old number on it and I switched it on and obviously hundreds of messages come through and I realized there was one for Christian, to get together and have a chat at the end of the season just to have a catch up”
“And initially, I just replied to him on my new phone, it was after a weekend, I can’t remember but it was quite late on that I found the message from earlier on in the year. So it was, it was like months later.
“And I just said, you know, congratulations on the amazing season and I hope we are able to compete with and he replied, repeating the same thing.”
Asked whether he was still planning to meet up with Horner after the end of the season, Hamilton added ‘probably not’.
Hamilton: Wonderful to race Verstappen in the same team
Hamilton did say he’d love to race against Max Verstappen in the same machinery, but cheekily added he doesn’t expect the Dutchman to approach Mercedes any time soon.
The pair had one of the most famous and controversial showdowns in Formula 1 history at the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP where Verstappen triumphed thanks to a decisive intervention from race director Michael Masi that was later labelled ‘human error’ by the FIA.
And Hamilton addressed whether he and Verstappen had a bond that’d make the potential driver pairing a success.
“I don’t know if it’s a bond, but I’d be more than happy to get to race against Max in the same car, that would be wonderful. I don’t think he wants to move this time,” Hamilton added.
“There’s a lot of people here that like to drop my name in many conversations because they know it’s going to make waves and if they’re at home not getting much attention then that’s the perfect thing to do, it’s my name.”