Red Bull have reportedly unmasked Lewis Hamilton’s father as the mysterious “representative” who sensationally approached Christian Horner about a potential move from Mercedes.
The F1 world was rocked ahead of this weekend’s season-ending Abu Dhabi when Horner told British newspaper the Daily Mail that Hamilton had approached him earlier this year to sound out a possible switch from Mercedes.
“We have had several conversations over the years about Lewis joining,” Horner said. “They have reached out a few times. Most recently, earlier in the year, there was an inquiry about whether there would be any interest.”
Lewis Hamilton’s father approached Christian Horner over Red Bull switch
Horner also claimed that Hamilton had also “definitely” held “serious talks” with Ferrari president John Elkann about a move to Maranello around the time of the Monaco Grand Prix in May.
Hamilton went on to agree a new two-year contract extension with Mercedes, which was announced on the eve of the Italian GP at Monza.
Appearing before the media in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, Hamilton accused Horner of “just stirring things” and insisted he had no knowledge of an approach by anyone within his entourage.
“I know it’s come from Christian, so I don’t really understand what he’s been talking about because, as far as I’m aware, no-one from my team has spoken to him,” Hamilton said before claiming Horner had instead reached out to him earlier this season “about meeting up.”
However, a report by the BBC claims that a Red Bull spokesperson let slip that Hamilton’s father Anthony was the individual to initiate contact with Horner.
Hamilton has often credited his father for his success having made various sacrifices during his son’s youth and rise through his racing ranks, even acting as his manager before a difficult split in 2010.
While Hamilton Sr continues to attend races on occasion, he is no longer understood to have any formal influence in his son’s career choices.
Despite committing his future to Mercedes until the end of 2025, Hamilton has cut a frustrated figure at times this season.
After a bruising opening race in Bahrain, he accused the technical department of ignoring his guidance over the development of the W14 car over the winter, with Mercedes only then taking the decision to abandon the divisive zero-pod concept.
With the team making only marginal progress in the months since a revised chassis was introduced in Monaco, Hamilton claimed after the Japanese GP in September that Mercedes would require “the greatest six months of development ever” to have any hope of challenging Red Bull in 2024.
Hamilton became the most successful driver in F1 history during his dominant spell with Mercedes from 2014, equalling Michael Schumacher’s long-standing record of seven World Championships in 2020 before becoming the first driver to claim more than 100 pole positions and grand prix victories the following year.
The 38-year-old remains without a win since the penultimate round of the 2021 season in Saudi Arabia, with Max Verstappen emerging as F1’s dominant force over the last couple of years.
Verstappen, who secured his third consecutive title last month, has won 43 of the last 65 races stretching back to the start of his maiden Championship-winning season in 2021.
A 54th career victory this weekend – and a 19th win in 22 races in 2023 – would see Verstappen, 26, overtake Sebastian Vettel for third in the all-time list of grand prix winners, leaving only Schumacher (91) and Hamilton (103) ahead of him.