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Horner writes off Hamilton move

ESPNF1 Staff
July 5, 2011 « Virgin primed for regulation change | »
Christian Horner doesn't foresee Lewis Hamilton becoming a Red Bull driver © Sutton Images
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Christian Horner has virtually written off any chance of Lewis Hamilton joining Red Bull.

Hamilton has been repeatedly linked with a switch this season, with the rumours gathering momentum after he was spotted meeting Horner at the Canadian Grand Prix. With McLaren unable to match the pace of Red Bull it appeared Hamilton may look to move in order to improve his chances of winning further world championships, but Horner said he was happy with the current driver pairing.

"On paper a Vettel-Hamilton line-up would be hugely attractive," Horner told reporters at the Red Bull factory. "But you have to look at the reality, at how these things work, and history dictates that two world-class drivers in the same team has not always been the best pairing. You only have to think of Senna-Prost, Piquet-Mansell, or even Alonso and Hamilton.

"We are hugely happy to have Sebastian committed to the team long term, and with Mark [Webber], we're very pleased with the job he is doing. Our focus at present is on those two drivers rather than looking to change anything."

Horner said that he didn't feel Vettel and Hamilton could work together as successfully as Vettel and Webber do at present.

"At the end of the day it's about winning. It's not solely down to Red Bull to provide the entertainment. We do enough of that. If you look at any great team, be it with a football team, hockey team, across the disciplines, it's about the unit working as such, and not about individuals. What we've managed to achieve here, and what's hugely important, is that no individual is bigger than the team.

"I think it would be difficult to envisage a driver of Sebastian's calibre and that of Lewis under the same roof. Lewis is a wonderful driver, and you can understand why he might want to drive a Red Bull. It's obvious. But would it be the best thing for us? We have severe reservations it would be."

Horner also said he feels he has the better driver of the two at present with Vettel boasting a record of 16 wins and 23 poles from his 70 grands prix, compared to Hamilton's 15 wins and 18 poles from 79 races.

"In a shorter career he has already won more races than Lewis, had more pole positions and won the same amount of championships. We are absolutely delighted to have Sebastian. There is no driver in the paddock I would rather have on a long-term contract than Sebastian Vettel."

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