Christian Horner has again sought to pour cold water upon speculation linking Lewis Hamilton to Red Bull Racing in the near future – insisting that decisions about the team's driver line-up are 'not about individuals', but rather, that the chief priority is ensuring 'harmony'.
Seemingly disgruntled and disaffected at McLaren-Mercedes – the team with which he has been practically synonymous for well for a decade – in the wake of the Woking-based outfit's consistent inability to provide him with a title-challenging car over the past three years, Hamilton and Red Bull have been mentioned in the same breath on many an occasion of late, with the energy drinks-backed operation clearly the place to be right now.
Every remark made by Hamilton suggesting that his loyalty to McLaren is being stretched to the limit has been swiftly countered by another re-pledging his continued commitment to the cause, but his latest pronouncement angrily writing off his world championship hopes for the third season in succession [see separate story – click here
] hints that all is far from well behind-the-scenes.
Although Red Bull's controversial motorsport advisor Dr. Helmut Marko has made no bones about the fact that he would consider a Hamilton/Sebastian Vettel line-up something of a 'dream team', team principal Horner has cautioned that 'there tends to be fireworks [when two top-line, fiercely-competitive drivers are paired up together], as we saw with Fernando Alonso and Lewis [at McLaren in 2007]'. Even in the wake of the pair's much-analysed Montreal meeting just over a fortnight ago, the Englishman's view has not changed.
“Sometimes as a team, you have to look beyond what on paper perhaps looks the most attractive,” Horner told the BBC
. “It's all about harmony and team at the end of the day – it's not about individuals. That's the most important thing to us.
“I think [whether Hamilton is looking for a way out of McLaren] is only really a question that Lewis could answer. He's been there since he was almost just out of nappies. It's one that I can't answer. Of course every driver at the moment would like to be driving a Red Bull car; that's only normal when we've had the kind of performance we've enjoyed over the last few years.”