Lewis Hamilton was open to forming an explosive partnership with Max Verstappen at Red Bull, according to Christian Horner.

Since his controversial defeat to Verstappen in the 2021 drivers’ championship, Hamilton and Mercedes have endured a barren couple of seasons, with the seven-time world champion not picking up a single win. Amid Mercedes’ woes and with his contract winding down, rumours were rife earlier this year that Hamilton held talks with Ferrari.

The 38-year-old went on to commit his future to Mercedes with contract until the end of 2025. However, before penning that deal, he also sounded the Silver Arrows’ great rivals Red Bull, Horner has revealed.

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“We have had several conversations over the years about Lewis joining,” the Red Bull team principle told the Daily Mail. “They have reached out a few times. Most recently, earlier in the year, there was an inquiry about whether there would be any interest.

“He met John Elkann [Ferrari chairman], too. I think there were serious talks. It was around Monaco [in May]. There were definitely conversations, perhaps with Vasseur, too. But certainly with Elkann.”

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LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - OCTOBER 06: Third placed qualifier Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes and Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing attend the press conference after qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar at Lusail International Circuit on October 06, 2023 in Lusail City, Qatar.
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in the same team would be an explosive combination
Christian Horner says Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in the same team wouldn't work
Christian Horner says Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in the same team wouldn't work

Following their bitter title fight in 2021, which featured several collisions and barbs in the media, a Verstappen-Hamilton line-up would be mouth-watering for the sport. But Horner says it wouldn’t be right for Red Bull and their dynamic of having a clear number one driver.

“I can't see Max and Lewis working out together,” he said. “The dynamic wouldn't be right. We are 100% happy with what we have.”

Following a tough season for Sergio Perez, there are question marks over Red Bull’s second seat. After clinching second in the championship behind Verstappen, the Mexican is set to retain his place for 2024. Beyond that though, the seat is very much up for grabs.