Red Bull boss Horner cool on Lewis Hamilton switch

Mark Webber

Lewis Hamilton's chances of joining Red Bull next year are "pretty slim to nil", says team boss Christian Horner.

Speculation about the McLaren driver's future has raged since he met Horner for a 15-minute secret talk at the Canadian Grand Prix in June.

Horner told BBC Sport he "can't see any reason to change" his pairing of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.

Webber has been deliberating his future but said he had a "big chance of staying but [was] still thinking".

The remarks by both Horner and Webber on Saturday are a significant shift from their previous positions and seem to almost totally close the door on any chance of Hamilton moving to Red Bull for 2012.

Horner added: "We are not talking to anyone else. With Mark, it tends to be relatively straightforward.

"It's like a marriage, both sides have to agree, but it should be fairly quick. We have agreed we will sit down later in the summer, but we are not looking at anyone else."

Talking on the BBC News Channel's Inside F1 programme, he was asked what were the chances of Hamilton joining Red Bull next year.

"Pretty slim to nil," he replied. "As far as we understand, Lewis is also a McLaren driver for next year, but that's a question you need to ask him.

"We're happy with our two drivers and we don't have three cars."

Asked why Hamilton had come to see him in Canada, Horner said: "He's obviously a bit frustrated with how things are going at the moment.

"He's a great driver and I can understand why any driver, not just Lewis, would want to be in a Red Bull car.

"But you have to look at the dynamics and harmony in the team, how the two drivers work together. It's all about the team and I can't imagine a better pairing to satisfy that criteria than the two guys we have."

Vettel is dominating the championship this season, having taken six wins and two second places in eight races.

Hamilton and team-mate Jenson Button are the only drivers to beat him, but their chances of the championship are already very small - they are both more than three clear wins behind the German.

Red Bull locked out the front row in qualifying at the British Grand Prix on Saturday, with Webber ahead of Vettel. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was third, with Button fifth and Hamilton 10th after McLaren chose the wrong tyres for him.

Horner added: "We're entering the 'silly season' of F1 contracts and there is a lot of speculation about Lewis's future, but we're very happy with the drivers we have.

"We have a long-term contract with Sebastian Vettel (until the end of 2014) and Mark Webber's doing a fantastic job, as you can see today, and at the moment we can't see any reason why we would want to change that.

"But we'll sit down with Mark at some time later in the summer."

Lewis Hamilton

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