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Lewis Hamilton says Red Bull chief Christian Horner contacted him over 'meeting', following claims of talks

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner claims that Lewis Hamilton's representatives made contact over a potential switch from Mercedes; watch every session from the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP live on Sky Sports from this Friday at 9.30am, with lights out on Sunday at 1pm

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Lewis Hamilton says he's never considered joining Red Bull and is determined to beat them with current team Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton has denied Christian Horner's claims that he reached out over a potential switch from Mercedes, and says the Red Bull team principal attempted to arrange a meeting with him.

Horner claimed in an interview published on Wednesday that a representative of Hamilton had approached Red Bull earlier this year before the seven-time champion signed his two-year Mercedes contract renewal in August.

After narrowly missing out on a record eighth world championship at the hands of Red Bull's Max Verstappen in 2021, Hamilton has watched the Dutchman make it three titles in a row in a dominant car.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's season-ending Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton told Sky Sports F1: "I don't really know where that story has come from. I mean I know it's come from Christian...

"I don't really understand what he's been talking about because no one, as far as I'm aware, from my team has spoken to him. I haven't spoken to Christian really in years.

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With rumours suggesting Lewis Hamilton might have joined Red Bull, Max Verstappen says he wouldn't have minded if the seven-time world champion or any other driver raced alongside him as a team-mate

"However, he did reach out to me earlier on in the year about meeting up, but that's it. I just congratulated them on an amazing year and said, 'hopefully soon, I'll be able to fight against you guys in the near future.' That was it.

"So I'm not really sure, I think he's just stirring things."

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Speaking to the written media, Hamilton also said he was not surprised that people "drop my name in many conversations because they know it's gonna make waves and if you're a little bit lonely and don't get much attention, it's the perfect thing to do".

Asked more about any Red Bull approach this year, he stated: "I've checked with everyone on the team, and no one's spoken to them, but they have tried to reach out to us.

"Basically, I picked up my old phone which I've just found at home that had my old number on it and I switched it on, obviously hundreds of messages come through and I realised there was one for Christian together and chat at the end of the season."

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Sky Sports News' Craig Slater discusses reports that a Lewis Hamilton representative spoke with Red Bull chief Christian Horner earlier in the year about a potential move to the team

In an interview with the Daily Mail Horner had also suggested that Hamilton met with Ferrari chairman John Elkann.

"We have had several conversations over the years about Lewis joining," Horner said.

"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."

Ferrari team boss Frederic Vasseur dismissed reports back in May that they had offered Hamilton a big-money deal to defect to the Italian team.

After the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff admitted Hamilton needs to "make sure he has the car" to win another championship and would have "no complaints" if the seven-time world champion moved elsewhere in the "next year or two" if the Brackley-based outfit don't demonstrate a title-winning car.

Verstappen was asked about the possibility of partnering Hamilton in the future but played down the chances of the prospect.

"I don't know because it's not happening. There's no point to make up stories 'if, if'. It's not happening," said Verstappen.

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Look back at some of the most dramatic moments to have taken place at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Pushed more on whether he would want to be his team-mate, the world champion added: "I wouldn't mind. It doesn't matter, anyone...I don't want to put it particularly on Lewis. There are so many great drivers as well. Sometimes it doesn't work out like that."

Analysis from Sky Sports News' Craig Slater:

"I got in touch with Red Bull today and they said yes, absolutely, Christian Horner stands by this that a known Lewis Hamilton representative made contact with him. They wouldn't specify how in-depth this contact was particularly. But it did happen.

"The more interesting aspect to all of this, because Lewis has ultimately re-signed with Mercedes for another couple of years, he did so in August, [is] he did speak during the contract negotiation process about not looking anywhere else.

Image: Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have won the last seven F1 world titles between them

"So, I did get in touch with Mercedes who tell me they are relaxed; they are not stressed about any of this as far as they see it, they think it's rather implausible, but it would be in their view due diligence, maybe for a representative of Lewis Hamilton to go and maybe see what else was out there, what future opportunities might potentially be out there, but they're not taking it particularly seriously.

"It is not in any way a kind of issue between the team and Lewis, even if this did happen, which they're not convinced that it did. It could even be the case, of course, that Lewis didn't even know about this this contact necessarily, one insider connected with the team observed to me that, well is this Christian Horner needing to use Lewis' name to make a few headlines."

Sky Sports F1's live Abu Dhabi GP schedule

Friday November 24

  • 7am: F2 Practice
  • 9am: Abu Dhabi GP Practice One (session starts at 9.30am)
  • 10.55pm: F2 Qualifying
  • 12.45pm: Abu Dhabi GP Practice Two (session starts at 1pm)
  • 2.15pm: The F1 Show

Saturday November 25

  • 10.15am: Abu Dhabi GP Practice Three (session starts at 10.30am)
  • 12.15pm: F2 Sprint
  • 1.15pm: Abu Dhabi GP Qualifying build-up
  • 2pm: Abu Dhabi GP Qualifying
  • 4pm: Ted's Qualifying Notebook

Sunday November 26

  • 9.10am: F2 Feature Race
  • 11.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday Abu Dhabi GP build-up
  • 3pm: Chequered Flag: Abu Dhabi GP reaction
  • 4pm: Ted's Notebook

After the thrills of Las Vegas, Formula 1 heads to Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit for the 2023 season finale and another stunning spectacle under the lights. Watch the Abu Dhabi weekend live on Sky Sports F1, with lights out on Sunday at 1pm. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW

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