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Christian Horner says Lewis Hamilton spoke to Red Bull and Ferrari this season

Lewis Hamilton contacted Red Bull about joining the team, according to Christian Horner (Tim Goode/PA)
Lewis Hamilton contacted Red Bull about joining the team, according to Christian Horner (Tim Goode/PA) Lewis Hamilton contacted Red Bull about joining the team, according to Christian Horner (Tim Goode/PA)

Lewis Hamilton contacted Red Bull about driving alongside Max Verstappen for the grid’s all-conquering team, Christian Horner has claimed.

The 38-year-old signed a new two-year contract – understood to be worth £50million a year – in August to extend his stay in Formula One beyond his 40th birthday.

It came amid a season of struggle for Mercedes as Verstappen eased to a third consecutive world title in a dominant Red Bull car.

There was speculation over Hamilton’s future for much of the season and Red Bull team principal Horner has now claimed they received an approach from his representatives before he committed to Mercedes.

Max Verstappen has won his third successive world title
Max Verstappen has won his third successive world title Max Verstappen has won his third successive world title (Tim Goode/PA)

Horner also said the seven-time world champion was in dialogue with Ferrari chairman John Elkann.

“We have had several conversations over the years about Lewis joining,” Horner told the Daily Mail.

“They have reached out a few times. Most recently, earlier in the year, there was an inquiry about whether there would be any interest.

“He met John Elkann (Ferrari chairman), too. I think there were serious talks.

“But I can’t see Max and Lewis working out together. The dynamic wouldn’t be right. We are 100 per cent happy with what we have.”

The 2023 F1 season concludes this weekend in Abu Dhabi, where Hamilton was controversially beaten to the drivers’ championship by Verstappen in the final race in 2021.

Hamilton has not won a race in two seasons and will finish third in the standings this year, while the Dutchman is bidding for his 19th win of a record-breaking campaign.

“We want to get back to the top, and back to fighting for world championships. We are in this together,” Hamilton said when his new deal was announced in August.

“We have a lot of work to do, but there is nowhere else I would rather be. You are all stuck with me for a little bit longer.”