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McLaren weaker without Hamilton - Horner

ESPN Staff
November 27, 2012 « Hamilton set for Mercedes contact | Vettel- 'Alonso's one of the best' »
Christian Horner believes Lewis Hamilton to "naturally add performance" © Getty Images
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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes McLaren will be a weaker team without Lewis Hamilton next year.

Hamilton joins Mercedes for 2013, leaving McLaren to field a line-up of Jenson Button and Sergio Perez. With Red Bull having just completed a third consecutive championship double, Horner said that one of its main opponents this year would be a weaker proposition next season without Hamilton as part of McLaren's team.

"I think McLaren is a weaker team without Lewis," Horner said. "I think McLaren would admit that. I think Lewis is an outstanding driver and in Lewis and Jenson they had a hugely strong driver line-up. So whichever team had taken Lewis - whether he stayed at McLaren or now he's moved to Mercedes - he will be an asset to that team.

"I'm sure he will naturally add performance to Mercedes next year. So we'll see next year, but McLaren have had a great car this year and who's to say they won't have an even better one next year?"

While thinking McLaren will be hurt by Hamilton's departure, Horner said Red Bull will have to improve in order to be able to challenge for championships again next season.

"We will apply the lessons that we've learnt this year. We can always improve as a team; we've improved each of the last three years and the lessons we've learnt this year we will look to apply next year. We are up against some formidable opponents, they won't be sleeping over the winter and we will have to improve further the car, further the team, to maintain the kind of performances we've achieved not just this year but the last three years."

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