Jacques Villeneuve issues verdict on Lewis Hamilton reportedly approaching Red Bull for a seat alongside Max Verstappen

Abu Dhabi F1 GP Auto Racing
Lewis Hamilton at the Abu Dhabi F1 GP Auto Racing

Talking about Lewis Hamilton reportedly approaching Red Bull for a seat alongside Max Verstappen, former F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve feels it's natural for a driver to approach other teams and then deny it. At the last race of the season, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner revealed that the team had been approached by Hamilton.

Hamilton then claimed that he hadn't reached out to Red Bull and denied having any such conversation. Even Mercedes boss Toto Wolff had entered the conversation and admonished Horner's comments.

The whole saga somewhat died down when the Red Bull boss revealed that he was approached by Lewis Hamilton's father early in the season. Talking about the possibility of the Brit driver approaching Horner's team, Villeneuve felt that the seven-time champion approaching Red Bull was quite natural.

“It gets a lot of print! As a driver, you’re not allowed to talk to other teams while you’re under contract and all that. But talks always happen. Obviously, you cross people in the paddock, or sometimes, you’ll use someone who doesn’t work for you, but will still do the talk so you’re protected. But, if the noise comes out, you have to negate it. Then who’s there to check?” he said in a conversation with PlanetF1.

Toto Wolff's reaction to claims of Lewis Hamilton approaching Red Bull

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff reacted to the claims of Lewis Hamilton approaching Red Bull quite harshly. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner made the claim, and with the pretext of the kind of relationship the two team principals have had, the comments were somewhat predictable as well.

Talking to Sportskeeda at the F1 Abu Dhabi GP, Wolff clarified what had happened as he also had a few choice words for Horner.

“I just don’t know what drives the guy. We don’t understand his thinking to come up with these things. [It] was Christian inquiring into his availability. Lewis had an exchange with Christian – which he immediately told me about, which was not about a seat, but it was just… blah. I just wonder what’s going on up there,” he said.

Hamilton, on the other hand, also vehemently denied any such approach from himself or his entourage. The British driver still has two more years with Mercedes.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar