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Christian Horner clarifies 'Sebastian Vettel could leave Ferrari' quotes

Christian Horner has clarified he was just joking when he predicted to reporters that Sebastian Vettel could quit Ferrari to join Mercedes.

The Red Bull boss mentored Vettel to his four world championships before the German decided to leave Red Bull for Ferrari two years ago.

But after being quoted by Bild suggesting that Vettel may look to leave the Scuderia after a disappointing start to 2016, Horner has insisted his remarks shouldn't have caused such a stir. 

"We had a dinner with some German journalists a week or two ago and just as a wind-up I threw it in there. Suddenly they write about it and it becomes a sensational story," Horner told Sky Sports F1

According to reports in Italy, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne, who has repeatedly demanded the team quickly return to the winners' enclosure and described their decade-long title drought as a "tragedy", has conducted a series of inquests at the team's Maranello base in recent weeks in order to understand their on-track struggles.

With pressure mounting, team boss Maurizio Arrivabene has admitted the team "cannot fail" at this week's Hungarian GP.

Hungarian GP on Sky
Hungarian GP on Sky

When is the race and how can you watch it?

Despite the F1 careers of Hamilton and Vettel, both of whom joined the sport in 2007, running concurrently, the only time they came close to co-existing within the same team was in 2011 when Hamilton enquired about a vacancy at the then-dominant Red Bull outfit. Ironically, it was Horner who closed the door on the switch, adamant that the pair couldn't live together under one roof.

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"At the time it would have been impossible to accommodate Lewis and Sebastian in the team, and obviously we went on to achieve a huge amount with Seb," said Horner in March.

"The timing didn't work out. It was one of those things. Lewis has gone on to achieve some phenomenal things in another environment. He's found his way."

"I'd be amazed to ever see the two of them sitting in the same team. From a team point of view as well it would be very difficult to envisage that scenario. It could be very, very divisive. You've always got one who is elated and one who is p***** off."

Watch the Hungarian GP live on Sky Sports F1. The race starts at 1pm on Sunday, with build-up underway at 11:30am. Or watch the race without a contract for £6.99 on NOW TV. 

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