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Christian Horner

Horner suggests Hamilton's father initiated contact over Red Bull switch

The Red Bull Team Principal has offered more detail into the discussions that were made between the seven-time World Champion over a potential drive with his ex-championship rivals.

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Christian Horner has claimed that Anthony Hamilton first initiated contact with Red Bull over a potential switch from Mercedes for Lewis Hamilton.

Horner alleged earlier in the Abu Dhabi weekend in an interview with the Daily Mail that Hamilton's camp reached out regarding a potential drive with the team for the future.

Hamilton strongly denied that conversations between him and Horner took place, insisting that the Red Bull team boss messaged him about a catch-up conversation.

Now Horner has revealed that he did not have "serious discussions" as there was not a drive available in the first place.

"Anthony reached out, I think it was around Sergio, and just asked and enquiring and suggestive question," Horner first told Sky Sports F1, before going onto elaborate further in the Team Principal's Press Conference.

"It's remarkable how much traction this has got, so thank you to the Daily Mail for going exclusively large on this item," he told media, including RacingNews365.

"It's a question of: 'He said, she said, who said, what said' and it's entirely normal for drivers, representatives, and drivers parents to have different conversations during the course of the year.

"We haven't had any serious discussions with Lewis, there was never a seat available."

Horner: Questions will be asked

It subsequently emerged that Horner had been in contact with Anthony Hamilton over potential options for a drive, while discussions were still ongoing regarding the contact at Mercedes.

Even though both Mercedes and the seven-time World Champion endured years of success together, that has dried up in F1's ground effects era, with Hamilton facing a second winless season on the trot if he fails to win in Abu Dhabi.

Horner believes this is one of the main reasons why Hamilton's father reached out, as they look for options to increase his chances of challenging for titles in the short term.

"I've known Anthony Hamilton for many years, he's a good guy," said Horner.

"He's a proud racing father and inevitably when drivers go through tough spots, Lewis hasn't won a Grand Prix for two years, questions will be asked up and down the paddock.

"There was never any engagement and I don't know who represents who or what, but with the same surname, you would think they were reasonably close.

"Other than pleasantries, there was no specific 'Can I drive for Red Bull next year?', unless Anthony wanted to drive.

"There are many drivers, as you can imagine, that we hear from during the course of a year."

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