Horner sticks boot into Hamilton with dig at two-year race win drought

No wonder Lewis Hamilton wanted out! Christian Horner sticks the boot into Mercedes with dig at Brit’s two-year race win drought as row over his Red Bull talks continue in Abu Dhabi

  • Red Bull chief Christian Horner claimed Lewis Hamilton wanted move to his team
  • Hamilton denied these reports and took aim at the 50-year-old for his comments 
  • Now, Horner has responded with a dig at Hamilton’s two-year race win drought 

Christian Horner said on Friday that Lewis Hamilton can’t be blamed for seeking options outside Mercedes after two years without a win.

The Red Bull team principal revealed in Mail Sport this week that someone from Hamilton’s camp had sounded him out about whether he would be interested in signing the seven-time world champion for next season.

Hamilton then hit back by saying it was actually Horner who contacted him. Red Bull countered by going on the record to name Hamilton’s father, Anthony, as the man who made the initial approach, prior to his son agreeing a new two-year deal with Mercedes worth £100million.

‘I have known Anthony Hamilton for many years,’ said Horner of Lewis’s manager during the formative years of his rags-to-riches career. 

‘He is a good guy, a proud racing father, and inevitably when drivers go through tough spots, questions will be asked up and down the paddock.

The row over whether a representative of Lewis Hamilton held talks with Red Bull continues

Red Bull chief Christian Horner has now aimed a dig at Hamilton’s two-year race win drought

‘Lewis is the most successful driver of all time and he hasn’t won a grand prix since 2021. You haven’t got to be a rocket scientist to work that out and I doubt I was the only one an inquiry was made of.

‘There was never any engagement and I don’t know who represents who, but given the surnames you would think they are reasonably close.

‘I am not privy to that, but I don’t think Anthony was inquiring about himself coming to drive.’

Horner seemed keen to draw a line under what has been a draining saga for all concerned – Hamilton and Mercedes, himself and Red Bull – ahead of this weekend’s season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Going into it, Mercedes hold a four-point advantage over Ferrari in the fight for second place in the constructors’ championship. 

But Hamilton was not hopeful of maintaining that lead following a disjointed day of practice, saying: ‘We didn’t get in much running (with two red flags). I’ll just be trying to get into the top 10.

‘We have had some difficult qualifying sessions, even struggling to get out of Q1 and Q2. We need a good morning.’

Red Bull claimed on record that Hamilton’s father, Anthony, was the representative who made the initial approach, prior to his son agreeing a new two-year deal with Mercedes worth £100m

It has been said that Hamilton was open to teaming up with his Red Bull rival Max Verstappen

George Russell was sixth best for Mercedes, who face the prospect of finishing the season victory-free for the first time since 2011.

Ferrari endured a mixed day – Carlos Sainz suffered a big smash, his second in a week after being hit by a manhole cover in Las Vegas, while Charles Leclerc, in the other red car, set the fastest time.

The evening’s action was halted for 22 minutes as the battered Ferrari was hoisted away from Turn 3 for repairs. 

There was a second delay when Haas’s Nico Hulkenberg lost control on the exit of the opening corner.

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