Red Bull team principal Christian Horner made a bombshell revelation in an interview with the Daily Mail last week that Hamilton’s representatives had reached out to Red Bull earlier in the year to enquire about Sergio Perez’s seat for the 2024 F1 season.
The seven-time world champion, who signed a fresh two-year deal with Mercedes in August, initially denied Horner’s claim when he faced the media on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, before Horner revealed the contact had come from Hamilton’s father, Anthony.
Red Bull advisor Marko has now waded into the saga, insisting that Hamilton’s interest in a switch to Red Bull was serious, adding that such a move would only be considered by the Mercedes driver if “he got the same material” as Max Verstappen.
“I can only say that Christian Horner told me in January about a text message he received from Hamilton‘s entourage,” Marko told F1-Insider.com.
“It seemed authorised by the driver, especially because there was talk of a condition that Hamilton set. He only wanted to drive for Red Bull if he got the same material as Max Verstappen.
“For me at least there was no doubt that the request from the Hamilton side was serious.”
However, speaking to Sky Germany, Marko downplayed the prospect of Hamilton ever joining Red Bull while Verstappen is there.
"I said that the atmosphere is still charged thanks to the events of 2021 and it’s probably not going to work out due to emotional differences,” Marko said.
"Financially, we also can’t afford the most expensive driver on the grid.
"However, the main point was the relationship between Max and Lewis."