Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has defended the story he revealed regarding Lewis Hamilton ahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with him insisting that having talks with the Mercedes driver is “not unusual”.
Horner revealed on Wednesday evening to the Daily Mail that a representative of Hamilton’s approached him earlier in the season, over a potential switch.
Hamilton has since insisted that Horner’s comments are completely false; however, the Red Bull boss has since revealed that it was the Mercedes driver’s father, Anthony Hamilton, who spoke to him.
Hamilton being linked with a move to Red Bull was a key topic during the pre-weekend drivers’ press conference as a result, with Horner admitting that it’s “amazing” how much “fuss” has come out of his comments.
Horner explained that he often speaks to Hamilton’s father as they’ve known each other for almost two decades, meaning that discussions shouldn’t come as a surprise.
According to Horner, Hamilton’s father was speaking to him about Sergio Perez’s future, which until recently was a massive talking point.
“It’s amazing the fuss that’s come out of this,” Horner said to Sky Sports F1.
“It’s not unusual for there to be an exchange. I’ve known Anthony Hamilton for 15-16 years, so inevitably there’s often an exchange during the course of the season.
“There’s quite a lot that seems to have been read into this.
“I had an exchange. Anthony’s a nice guy. He reached out, I think, I can’t remember, regarding around Sergio, and just asked an enquiring and suggestive question.
“I don’t know what role Anthony plays in Lewis’ setup or management, but he’s got some form of relationship.
“I don’t think he was enquiring about himself to come and drive.”
Hamilton moving to Red Bull is something which’ll likely never happen given his and Max Verstappen’s rivalry but also because he’s got a deal with Mercedes until the end of 2025.
Whilst Verstappen has a deal until the end of 2028, Red Bull have stressed that Perez’s deal for 2024 will be respected.
However, Horner can “understand” why Hamilton might be interested in moving to the Austrians, given that he’s not won a race since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
“We’re very happy with the drivers that we’ve got, but of course Lewis hasn’t won a race for almost two years,” Horner added.
“You can understand questions being asked, it’s entirely logical and normal for those type of things to happen.
“And as I say, I’ve always had a great relationship with Anthony, he’s a very nice guy, but there is no seat available so it’s really a non-story.”