F1 »

Hamilton wanted Red Bull seat, claims Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone claims that Lewis Hamilton could have been partnering Sebastian Vettel in 2013 - before he steered him towards Mercedes...
Lewis Hamilton could have been lining up alongside Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull this season had it not been for the team's loyalty to long-serving Mark Webber, according to Bernie Ecclestone.

The F1 ringmaster claims that Hamilton had targeted the world champions as his alternative to another year at McLaren, but was thwarted in his efforts to move by Red Bull's decision to offer Webber the option of another contract extension. The Australian had been the subject of attention from Ferrari, which had doubts over whether it should retain an under-performing Felipe Massa for 2013, and clearly pondered the wisdom of remaining alongside Vettel for another year, but victory in the British Grand Prix prompted him to accept RBR's offer, closing the door on Hamilton, who had infamously paid a visit to team boss Christian Horner in Montreal the previous season.

"[RBR team owner] Dietrich [Mateschitz] is a very honest, straightforward guy and told Mark the door was open for him to stay. That was good of him," Ecclestone told Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper, "Had Mark gone, Dietrich would have signed Lewis."

Dismissing suggestions that Vettel may have objected to Hamilton joining him in the Red Bull line-up, Ecclestone went on to claim that it was his prompting that turned the Briton towards Mercedes, where he now partners Nico Rosberg in what appears to be a potent W04.

"Lewis rolled his eyes, but I told him that he had nothing to lose as he wanted out of McLaren," he recalled.

Ecclestone still believes that Hamilton would rather have taken a year out of F1 had he not been able to engineer a move away from Woking – although the driver insists that that was never an option.

“Lewis told me that he would have rather taken a year off,” the octogenarian claimed earlier this week, “I don't know why it came to blows. Ron Dennis said that he could have kept Lewis if he had wanted to, but he didn't want to [and], in fairness to Lewis, he didn't leave over money. I don't know what it was, but it wasn't to do with money. He just wanted a change I think. He probably thought he had been there long enough and wanted to move on.”

Whilst not denying that he needed to break the shackles of the team that had nurtured him through the racing ranks, Hamilton insisted that he would not have stepped out of F1 for a year.

“I don't think I would leave this sport unless I didn't have a good feeling about it, or a smile and an energy when I got in the car,” the 28-year old said, disputing Ecclestone's claim, “I love racing, so there is no need to stop.”




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
23.11.2012- Free Practice 1, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
22.03.2013 - free practice 2, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9
14.03.2013- Press conference, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 and Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9
17.03.2013- Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 leads Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9
12.05.2012- Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management  and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
22.03.2013 - free practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10 leads Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
27.07.2014- Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
27.07.2014- Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


maglalako - Unregistered

March 24, 2013 10:09 PM

Lewis has proven that he is a true racer and is actually gutted to have been gifted the podium by his team and faster teammate. It seems that Lewis has matured since 2007 while the Three Stooges of Crash have not.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.