Christian Horner reveals drastic measure to afford Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen

Christian Horner has admitted that Red Bull held "conversations" with Lewis Hamilton several years ago.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has joked that the Milton Keynes-based team would need to “sell the factory” if they were to have their driver line-up consist of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

With Hamilton still yet to sign a new deal with Mercedes for 2024, there’s been speculation as to where else the 38-year-old could look for a seat.

It’s very much expected that he will sign an extension with the Silver Arrows; however, it’s been several weeks since Mercedes boss Toto Wolff revealed that an agreement was just “days” away.

The seven-time World Champion has been linked to Ferrari, to potentially replace Carlos Sainz.

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Both Ferrari and Mercedes quashed these suggestions though, with the latter being the only team on the grid for Hamilton.

Despite this, some have questioned whether Red Bull could make a sensational move for Verstappen’s rival, something Horner admits hasn’t been “considered” recently.

Even if the Austrians were interested in forming an unbeatable line-up consisting of nine world titles (10 if Verstappen wins the 2023 championship), it would cost an absolute fortune.

Verstappen and Hamilton are the two highest paid drivers in F1 by some margin, meaning Red Bull would have to go to extreme lengths to generate the required funds.

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“It’s nothing that we’ve ever considered in the recent past,” Horner said.

“Obviously, to pay for those two drivers in itself, we would probably have to sell the factory!”

Horner is hopeful that Hamilton will continue to race at the pinnacle of motorsport for several more years, something the driver has stressed that he’s keen on.

Whether Hamilton finishes his F1 career with Mercedes remains to be seen, especially as the Briton might be forced to move if the Germans fail to produce a title-winning car in the next couple of seasons.

Whilst Red Bull are very much not considering a swoop for the 103-time race winner, Horner did reveal that discussions have been held with the Briton before, but not “anytime recently”.

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“Lewis is obviously a great driver,” he added.

“Hopefully, he’ll be around for many years to come.

“There’s been a couple of occasions in history that we’ve had a couple of conversations about the possibility of joining Red Bull, but that’s not been anytime recently.”