Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has recently spoken about his interest in extending his stay in Formula 1 beyond the length of the current deal he has at Mercedes which runs till the end of 2023.
Things could, however, have turned out very differently for Hamilton had his interest been reciprocated by Red Bull.
Before joining Mercedes in 2013, Red Bull had the chance to sign the British star as he had made it clear that he wanted to race with them.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner explained in an interview how Hamilton had always longed to race for Red Bull, but a mistake on the team’s part meant that he ended up joining Mercedes.
Hamilton had won a world championship in 2008 but then struggled to lift his second title till 2014.
He failed to finish in the top 3 in any of his remaining years with McLaren.
Horner revealed that Hamilton had discussed the possibility of replacing Mark Webber at Red Bull and potentially lining up alongside Sebastian Vettel.
The Red Bull principal rejected his advance though, as he didn’t want to have two “alpha drivers” in his line-up.
Horner accepts his biggest mistake
Perhaps the biggest mistake Horner made, though, was convince Niki Lauda to sign Hamilton and Mercedes.
“Lewis and I have had a couple of conversations over the years,” Horner said.
“From 2010 to 2013, he was very keen to come and drive for Red Bull. We had Sebastian at that time and to have had two alpha drivers wouldn’t have made sense.
“Niki Lauda was at Mercedes and was very keen to take Lewis and I remember encouraging him to take him. We were fighting McLaren and in 2012, they had the fastest car and we felt that Lewis in a McLaren would be more of a threat than in a Mercedes.
“I encouraged Niki to spend the money as Lewis was wavering a little bit. It would be fair to say that backfired on me.”