Lewis Hamilton quips ‘better legacy’ amidst Red Bull rumours

Michelle Foster
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen laughs as Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton looks on.

Max Verstappen laughs as Lewis Hamilton looks on.

Although Lewis Hamilton would like to “experience” the championship-winning Red Bull, the Briton believes he’d have a “better legacy” being the one to end Max Verstappen’s reign.

Verstappen has gone on a charge in recent years as he wrapped up his third successive Drivers’ Championship title with arguably the most dominant display ever witnessed in Formula 1.

Winning 19 grands prix in a 22-race season while Red Bull claimed won all but one race, the Milton Keynes squad has won all but six races since the start of last season.

‘It is going to be a way better feeling than stepping into the best car’

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

And according to Christian Horner that had Hamilton’s people knocking on his door.

The team boss recently revealed Hamilton’s father Anthony approached him about a possible drive, his only criteria being that Hamilton received equal treatment to Verstappen.

Horner wasn’t open to the possibility as the “dynamic wouldn’t be right”.

It descended into a game of he said, he said with Horner and Helmut Marko adamant contact had been made while Hamilton brushed it aside saying there were “not any confidential discussions” about a Red Bull race seat.

That all of this was, at least according to Horner, playing out as the driver declared he was talking to Mercedes and only Mercedes about his future added to the drama.

But while Hamilton admits today he wouldn’t mind having a run in a Red Bull F1 car, helping Mercedes overhaul them to become the best would be the “better” legacy.

“Let’s be realistic,” he said to media including PlanetF1.com. “Every single driver that’s racing here dreams of being in the winning car. In my younger days, when I hadn’t had a lot of success, maybe in the McLaren days, maybe it would have been a lot more attractive.

“From a racing perspective and my viewpoint on things, when I moved to this team, I enjoyed moving from a more successful team to a team that hadn’t had success to a vision of growing and building with a team, because when we did then win it was such a better feeling.

“Every driver here looks at the Red Bull car and would love to drive that car. I’m not saying I wouldn’t love to drive that car and experience how good that car is – every driver would feel that – [but] I feel that we’ve had two really difficult cars and if we work towards being that car, it is going to be a way better feeling than stepping into the best car.

“It wouldn’t do much for me in the sense of stepping into the most dominant car of all time. Working with my team to be able to beat them would be better for my legacy for sure.”

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The Briton, though, admits such was Red Bull’s dominance in 2023 it may take Mercedes and the rest of the chasing pack time to catch up.

“Red Bull won by 17 seconds and they have not touched the car since August or July,” he said after the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP.

“So you can pretty much guess where they’re going to be next year.”

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