- Toto Wolff has allowed Verstappen exit Mercedes
- Hamilton is grappling with recurring car issues
- Red Bull says it is still too early to write him off yet
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says that his team is not ready to accommodate Lewis Hamilton now that Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has allowed him to leave.
Horner says that his current team, Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen are good enough for him. He spoke amidst Hamilton’s troubled career as he elusively chases his eighth championship.
However, Hamilton has maintained a distant fifth position in all three races of 2023 so far. Just like in the 2022 season, Hamilton is grappling with car issues in 2023 thereby hurdling his performance.
In light of this, Wolff has expressed concerns Hamilton’s future with Mercedes casting doubt on his future with the team.
Since then, Hamilton has been rumoured to harbouring a motive to switch to Red Bull and team up with his biggest Formula One rival, Verstappen in a move that would make F1 history.
In an exclusive interview with SunSport, Horner said Hamilton’s achievements are plausible but Red Bull isn’t ready for him yet.
“What Lewis has achieved in Formula One is second to none, but we’re very happy with the drivers that we have,” he stated.
Horner added: “They are committed as a pair not only this season but the next season as well. So I can’t see where we would be able to accommodate Lewis.”
The Red Bull boss said divulged that with the ongoing 2023 model improvements, Mercedes will sort out their issues.
Interestingly, he noted that while they do not need him at the moment, his team can’t write him off. Horner is aware that Red Bull have more opposition on the tracks in the coming years.
He drew reference to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix where Perez beat Verstappen. The Red Bull principal notes that with two powerful cars, the competition between its team drivers will be stiffer and that from other teams too.
Verstappen was unhappy with his team after finishing second at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix held in Jeddah. He urged his team to put in extra effort to ensure increased dependability and trouble-free weekends.
He finished just five seconds behind Red Bull teammate Perez who finished first in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after qualifying in 15th place on the grid.
The Dutch driver maintained that though his overall team performance is good and his team members are happy about it, he isn’t happy on a personal level.
He said that he is not ready for second place which is why Red Bull Oracle team must ensure that the cars are absolutely reliable.
Meanwhile, Hamilton spoke following a disappointing season opener race, Bahrain Grand Prix where he finished fifth and admitted that the new W14 isn’t the best car.
He managed to finish fifth after overtaking fellow teammate George Russell and taking Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc’s place after his exit.
He said that Mercedes isn’t where it should be yet because the W14 is not the car they want but he has to remain optimistic for the sake of his team.