Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner has today come out with some comments which close the door firmly on ideas of Lewis Hamilton joining the Red Bull Racing team.
Horner met with Hamilton at the recent Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, starting all kinds of speculation which neither man was quick to shoot down. It was a puzzling incident from many angles; at Hamilton’s press briefing on Thursday in Valencia, he said that his meeting with Horner had taken place before qualifying in Canada. Horner later confirmed that it was at about 5pm on Saturday evening.
With Vettel under contract for three more years Red Bull do not need Hamilton from a racing point of view and there would clearly be risks of destabilising the team to have two champions, as has happened in the past. But Red Bull is a maverick brand and from a marketing point of view, Hamilton’s edgy style and appeal in markets Red Bull would want to reach, gave the notion of him racing with them some credibility.
What has been interesting has been that both sides have let the stories hang there for a while. Today, however, Horner took the opportunity to say what common sense suggests,
“A Hamilton-Vettel combination, on paper, would look very attractive to any team,” he said. “However, what you have to look at is the dynamics of any partnership like that and it’s difficult to see how two sportsmen at the absolute top of their game could work in harmony under one roof.
“That’s where the dynamics within a team are so important. History demonstrates more often than not whether you look at [Alain] Prost and [Ayrton] Senna or [Nigel] Mansell and [Nelson] Piquet, that it doesn’t tend to work.
This is the common view in F1; that Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel are the three outstanding drivers of this generation. And so logically having them in three different teams is in the best interests of sport. It looks like that’s the way it will be, with Alonso committed to Ferrari for five years.
“Our understanding is that Lewis is committed to McLaren next year. We are under a long-term relationship with Seb. He is a product from the Red Bull junior programme and we are very happy with the job Mark Webber is doing. It’s difficult to see how Lewis fits into that.”
So far so logical, but Horner takes the opportunity to remind Hamilton of something of which he is all too painfully aware; that the younger man has come in and stolen his thunder,
“In a shorter career Seb has already won more races than Lewis, had more pole positions and won the same amount of championships.
We are absolutely delighted to have Sebastian.”
So much for the “Crash Kid” as McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh rather unwisely described Vettel last year.