Max Verstappen on Thursday denied the idea, which has been rumored and reported in recent days, that the Red Bull team is considering approaching Lewis Hamilton to partner in their dream line-up.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner claimed this week that Hamilton’s management had “reached out” several times, and was reported in British media as “inquiring about his interest earlier this year.”
However, Verstappen and Hamilton ruled out the idea of the Briton leaving Mercedes, speaking to reporters ahead of Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit.
“That’s not happening,” said Verstappen, who has already won three races in a row.
“There’s no point in making up a story if it’s not really happening.
“I don’t mind it, but it doesn’t matter. I don’t particularly want to impose it on Lewis. There are a lot of great drivers, but sometimes things don’t work out.”
Hamilton also distanced himself from Horner’s claims that he had “reached out” before agreeing to extend his contract with Mercedes.
“I really don’t know where that story came from,” said the seven-time champion.
“I know it’s coming from Christian, but I don’t really understand what he’s saying.
“As far as I know, no one on the team has talked to him. I haven’t talked to Christian in years.”
Hamilton added that Horner approached him earlier this season.
“I congratulated them on a great year and said, ‘Hopefully we can play against you guys in the near future.’ That was it. So I don’t really know. I thought he was just stirring things up. I think.”
However, he admitted he would like to compete in a car comparable to Verstappen’s.
“Yes, 100 percent, I would be very happy to race with him in a comparable car,” he said.
“Red Bull have done a great job and are a great team. Any driver would want to drive for such a great group.
“From my point of view, I don’t think it’s a dream to go from a not-so-good car to a winning car.
“The dream is to start where we (Mercedes) are and build up until we win. That’s why I stayed at Mercedes.”
– “The final push” –
Verstappen heads into Sunday’s race aiming for his 19th win in 22 races this year.
His 54th career win puts him behind Hamilton (103 wins) and Michael Schumacher (91 wins), and puts him ahead of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel.
It’s also a chance to break Jim Clark’s landmark 40-year record for most laps in a season.
Clark’s record of leading 71.4 per cent of laps has stood since 1963, but he is likely to fall short of Verstappen, who led 75.06 per cent of laps this year.
“Abu Dhabi always brings back good memories for me and the team,” Verstappen said.
“It’s been a long but successful season and I’m looking forward to some time off and some free time.
“The team has worked incredibly hard and everyone deserves plenty of rest and time with friends and family.
“So this is the last push of the year, and I want to finish this season on a good note.”
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/verstappen-rejects-idea-of-hamilton-move-to-red-bull/news-story/8741a02575c4af8edde66648417bd1c9 Verstappen rejects Hamilton’s idea of joining Red Bull