Price-driving reason suggested for Lewis Hamilton’s Red Bull approach

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton celebrates a P2 finish in Mexico City.

Lewis Hamilton salutes the crowd after finishing second in Mexico City.

Whether it was hoping to up his “price a little” or just knowing what is what, Alex Wurz wouldn’t be surprised if Lewis Hamilton’s people did speak with Red Bull.

After all, it is “completely normal” for drivers to speak with rival teams.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner irked Hamilton and the Mercedes camp last month when the Briton revealed that the seven-time World Champion’s people had approached Red Bull while Hamilton was speaking with Mercedes about renewing his contract.

‘…maybe just to increase the price a little or just to be informed’

“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.”

Hamilton hit back saying the Briton was “stirring things” up in a typical Horner fashion and that “no one from my team” had spoken with Red Bull.

But as the game of he said, he said continued, the team boss named Hamilton’s father Anthony – “with the same surname you would think they were reasonably close” – but added that it was more along the lines of “pleasantries, there was no specific”.

with the door to Red Bull remaining shut, Hamilton eventually re-signed with Mercedes as he put pen to paper on a new two-year extension.

But however it played out, former F1 driver Grand Prix Drivers’ Association chairman Wurz says drivers speaking to rival teams is the norm, it all helps drive their own price up.

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“You have to talk to people,” Wurz told ORF. “Simply to understand the market.

“There’s often no intention behind it, team to change, but maybe just to increase the price a little or just to be informed, that’s completely normal.”

Hamilton’s team boss Toto Wolff maintains the approach came from “Christian inquiring into his availability”, not from Hamilton’s side.

He told PlanetF1.com: “Lewis had an exchange with Christian – which he immediately told me about, which was not about a seat, but it was just… blah.

“I’ve seen it. So I don’t know what drives him to come out with this. You’ve won the season. Be happy about it, [be] humble. Enjoy it.”

As for Red Bull’s side, Helmut Marko says signing Hamilton as Verstappen’s F1 team-mate would never work.

“There was too much action and how should I say, in 2021, tension. And on the other hand, we cannot afford to have the two most expensive drivers in one team,” he told Motorsport.com.

“It’s just never going to happen.”

Read next: ‘Talks always happen’ – Lewis Hamilton’s ‘not allowed’ Red Bull approach