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Lewis Hamilton ‘made contact with Red Bull and Ferrari’ before signing new Mercedes deal

The seven-time F1 world champion put out feelers about the prospect of becoming Max Verstappen’s team-mate

Kieran Jackson
Formula 1 Correspondent
Thursday 23 November 2023 10:08 GMT
Lewis Hamilton speaks ahead of Las Vegas Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton’s representative touched base with Red Bull about the prospect of the seven-time F1 world champion partnering Max Verstappen – while the Brit also reportedly held talks with Ferrari.

Hamilton, who has won six of his seven world titles at Mercedes, signed a new two-year contract with the Silver Arrows in September in a deal that will take him to the end of the 2025 season.

Yet the 38-year-old, amid nearly two years without a race victory, put out feelers about leaving Toto Wolff’s team earlier this year – as revealed by Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

“We have had several conversations over the years about Lewis joining,” Horner told the Daily Mail.

“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. It was around Monaco [in May]. There were definitely conversations, perhaps with Vasseur [Ferrari team principal] too. But certainly with Elkann.

“But I can’t see Max and Lewis working out together. The dynamic wouldn’t be right. We are 100% happy with what we have.”

The report adds that Hamilton’s representative is likely to be either his New York-based manager Penni Thow or his father Anthony.

Lewis Hamilton made contact about the prospect of being Max Verstappen’s team-mate at Red Bull (Getty Images)

Hamilton was heavily linked with Ferrari earlier in the season but put all speculation to bed when he penned a new £50m-a-year extension with Mercedes, a rise of approximately £10m.

Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell also signed a new deal until the end of 2025.

“We have never been hungrier to win,” Hamilton said, after the contract was confirmed in August. “We have learnt from every success but also every setback.

“We dream every day of being the best and we have dedicated the past decade together to achieving that goal.”

Hamilton has not won since December 2021, in Saudi Arabia. A week later, he lost the 2021 world championship to Verstappen on the final lap in controversial circumstances in Abu Dhabi.

Mercedes have just won one race since, with George Russell’s first F1 victory in Brazil last year, while Hamilton has had 15 podiums since 2021 without a victory.

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