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Horner: Red Bull not targeting Hamilton

Christian Horner denies an interest in Red Bull signing Lewis Hamilton if the Briton becomes disillusioned with life at McLaren
Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner insists that the defending champions 'aren't looking to sign Lewis Hamilton' despite speculation that a difficult season at McLaren could see him evaluating his options for the future.

Hamilton and team-mate Jenson Button appear to be facing a difficult 2011 season after McLaren's new MP4-26 endured a difficult pre-season, with the car failing to show either the pace or reliability of its rivals.

Barring an upturn in fortunes when the paddock arrives at Albert Park for the opening round of the year, McLaren could find itself in a similar situation to 2009, when it managed just 14 points from the first nine races of the year before a late resurgence saw the team rebound to third in the constructors' championship.

With Hamilton out of contract at the end of next season, and Red Bull's Mark Webber on a year-to-year contract, the Briton could be an attractive option for any team on the grid if he becomes disillusioned with life at McLaren but Horner said there was currently no interest in the 2008 title winner.

"Lewis is a great driver, a former world champion and one of the best there is," he told the Press Association when asked if he expected to be linked with Hamilton if McLaren doesn't deliver this year. "You would think he is not going to be happy if he has another barren year, but that's not to say we are looking for Lewis to come to our team.

"We're very happy with the two drivers we currently have, but it's more of a question you're going to need to ask Lewis than certainly I can answer for you."

Horner's comments come after Sebastian Vettel thrashed out a new deal with Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz which will see him stay with the team until 2014, and just a day after Hamilton announced a new deal which will see him managed by entertainment mogul Simon Fuller – with the Red Bull principal admitting it was interesting to see the different approach taken by the young pair.

Hamilton at least now has someone on whom he can rely when it comes to any future deal negotiations, although that is in stark contrast to Vettel.

Horner has revealed Vettel sat down personally with Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz and thrashed out a pay rise and new contract that ties him to the team through to the end of 2014 without the help of a manager or agent.




Related Pictures

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11/2/2011- Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
11/2/2011- Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
19.02.2011- Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
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ads - Unregistered

March 15, 2011 1:01 PM

this wont happen while Seb is still at red Bull for one simple reason. In equal machinery Lewis would simply leave Seb standing. I know lots of you will disagree because you think its cool to hate Lewis but for pure driving talent, him and Alonso are streets ahead of everyone else and will ultimately be considered amongst the all time greats when they retire. Seb is good but not in Lewis's league - yet.

Alan D - Unregistered

March 15, 2011 1:08 PM

Duke: "the team is stale..He is too good a driver for a mediocre car." Mclaren mediocre? In his four seasons he has had 2007: a great car which should have won the WDC 2008: a car which did win the WDC 2009: a car which was a bit of a dog mainly because they used KERS and didn't have a double diffuser 2010: a car which was pretty good and might well have won the WDC 2011: The season hasn't started yet. No team can expect to produce a winning car every season, and Mclaren's recent record is pretty good. Likewise, no driver can expect to be given the best car every year. Even once in a career is as much as most can hope for. Some people use the "Mclaren is a well financed team" argument. Toyota poured a ton of money into F1 and got nowhere. Honda spent years pouring money into F1 and the Brawn of 2009 was probably the most expensive car on the grid. MErcedes and Ferrari both spend as much as Mclaren and have no more to show for it. And who knows how mcuh Red Bull ar espending.



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