Frightened to Lose Millions of Dollars in Revenue, Christian Horner Dismisses Lewis Hamilton & Max Verstappen’s Dream Pairing at Red Bull – EssentiallySports

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F1 Grand Prix Of Mexico Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, portrait Max Verstappen, Oracle Red Bull Racing, during the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Circuito Hermanos Rodriguez from October 27th to 30rd, 2022 in Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico. Ciudad de Mexico Mexico City Mexico PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxFRA Copyright: xGongorax originalFilename:bonilla-f1grandp221030_npWEg.jpg
It’s probably right to say that one can’t fit two swords in the same sheath. But F1 drivers are much more than just swords. These larger-than-life personalities are beyond simple idiomatic comparisons. Lewis Hamilton, the Mercedes maestro, and Max Verstappen, the Red Bull star share the same team. What a sight it would be! Alas, Christian Horner has ruled out this dream combination, echoing similar sentiments from Mercedes’ team boss Toto Wolff.
And a short view back at the past seasons would tell us the same. Albeit, for a different reason. And there are diverse reasons for such a combo of Lewis Hamilton & Max Verstappen not coming together in reality. Both these Titans could have ended up at the other team (Red Bull & Mercedes) at some point in time, but it did not pan out that way.
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Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – June 4, 2023 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates with champagne on the podium after winning the Spanish Grand Prix with second placed Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton REUTERS/Albert Gea
“There have been a few moments in history where we’ve talked about the possibility of Hamilton coming to Red Bull, but it wasn’t in the recent past,” revealed Horner as per Motorsport-Total. The most notable of these discussions occurred during the summer of 2011 when Hamilton was facing difficulties with McLaren. However, Red Bull was content with their top driver, Sebastian Vettel, at the time, and no substantial talks ensued.
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Christian Horner adds slyly: “In order to be able to pay for the two drivers, we would probably have to sell the factory!” [translated via Google]
While the notion of a Hamilton-Verstappen team-up creates a tantalizing prospect for fans worldwide, the harsh reality is that the financial stakes are incredibly high. Hamilton’s new contract with Mercedes is rumored to include a subsequent ten-year ambassador contract, which could rake in up to approx. $25 million annually post his active career.
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The fear of this hefty financial blow is one of the key reasons Horner has put a damper on the Hamilton-Verstappen dream team. But there’s more to it. Let’s dive into another significant factor – the potential for rivalry and discord.
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On one hand, we have Verstappen, a fiery young talent whose contract with Red Bull runs until 2028. On the other, we have the seasoned Hamilton, a man whose skill and experience are unrivaled in the F1 world. The mere thought of these two titans in the same team sparks excitement but also raises concerns about possible friction.
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Formula One F1 – Australian Grand Prix – Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia – April 2, 2023 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race REUTERS/Darrian Traynor
Red Bull’s advisor and head of their driver development program, Helmut Marko has his finger on the pulse of the team. He shares Horner’s sentiment, stating, “I don’t think the Verstappen-Hamilton combination would work in a team.” Marko goes further, cautioning: “We are very satisfied with our driver pairing and there are enough problems and challenges. You don’t have to take on an artificial one that would probably grow into a huge challenge.”
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The quote and the contract till 2028 make one thing very clear, RedBull has Max Verstappen and is very happy with him. Period.
While we won’t see a Hamilton-Verstappen dream team at Red Bull, the anticipation of their rivalry on the track remains an irresistible lure for F1 enthusiasts worldwide.
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Edited By: Aishwary Gaonkar
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