Max Verstappen doesn’t see a reason to comment Lewis Hamilton almost becoming his team-mate, after all, “it’s not happening”.
Earlier this season as Hamilton considered his future as he faced the prospect of yet another campaign without a Grand Prix win as a Mercedes driver, Christian Horner says the Briton’s people approached Red Bull, also Ferrari.
Red Bull turned them down, instead deciding to stick with Sergio Perez for the 2024 championship.
‘No point to make up stories if it’s not happening’
“We have had several conversations over the years about Lewis joining,” he 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.”
That came as a shock as Hamilton had stated several times in the build-up to his new Mercedes deal that he wanted to be a Mercedes man “’til the day I die”.
But a move to Red Bull never materialised as Horner could “not see Max and Lewis working out together, the dynamic wouldn’t be right.”
With Hamilton subsequently signing a new two-year contract with Mercedes, it’s unlikely Verstappen and the Briton will ever line up on the same team.
Verstappen was asked about that by David Croft during the drivers’ press conference in Abu Dhabi, and gave a somewhat spiky response.
“What would it add to know?” he responded. “Because I didn’t know, it’s not happening.
“You know there’s no point to make up stories if it’s not happening.”
But just in case you do want to know Verstappen’s feelings on Hamilton as a team-mate, he wouldn’t object to it.
“So yeah, I wouldn’t mind, it doesn’t matter anyway,” he added.
“I don’t want to put it now, particularly on Lewis, I mean, there are so many great drivers as well. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out like that.”
Could Red Bull field two roosters?
Although teams have done so in recent years, the most notable example being Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, that created headaches that Toto Wolff has said he never wants to repeat.
Fans may want two of the best going up against one another in the same cars, but for the teams it’s a repair bill waiting to happen.
Although this season given Red Bull’s dominance it would most likely have yielded the same result as 2023 did, a Constructors’ Championship and a 1-2 in the Drivers’, had a rival team been closer than the last thing Red Bull, or any team, wants is their drivers taking points off one another.
That happened at McLaren in 2007 when Hamilton and Fernando Alonso took points off one another, and Kimi Raikkonen pipped the team-mates to the World title by a single point. It can also split the team down the middle, garage against garage.
As such while Perez is not publicly called the number two driver, Red Bull really don’t want someone to challenge Verstappen.