Rejected by Red Bull

F1 News: Red Bull rejected Hamilton, Alonso, Leclerc & Norris

Red Bull rejected approaches from Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris before they signed their recent contracts elsewhere.

–by Mark Cipolloni–

That is the claim made by respected F1 reporter Mark Hughes of Motor Sport Magazine and former GP editor for Autosport for 10 years.

This claim has quashed fanboy rumors that these four drivers were offered a seat alongside Max Verstappen.

If Mark Hughes is correct, these four drivers went begging for a ride with Red Bull and were turned down.

Writing in response to a fan’s tweet claiming Hamilton, Alonso, Leclerc and Norris have all turned down a Red Bull seat within the last 12 months, Hughes responded: “That’s just plain untrue.

“Neither Leclerc, Hamilton nor Alonso were offered a place. Hamilton and Alonso both tried and were told no.”

After being rejected by Red Bull:

  • Norris signed a new long-term deal with McLaren
  • Leclerc signed a new long-term deal with Ferrari
  • Hamilton signed a multi-year deal with Ferrari
  • Alonso signed a multi-year deal with Aston Martin

Asked if he was fearful of taking on Verstappen in equal Red Bull cars, Norris told Sky Sports: “I think it’s a longer discussion than just saying that.

“Is Max one of the best drivers ever in Formula 1? Absolutely. I think he’s proved that enough.

“He’s in a team (Red Bull) which he’s very comfortable in, a lot of things are built around him, so for anyone – even the Max of a few years ago – to go in against the Max of now is extremely difficult.

“So I don’t think it’s a question of: are you scared or not scared? I don’t think I’d ever be scared of going up against anyone.

“But even if you enter a team like Red Bull, are you in a position to challenge someone straight away? And are you comfortable to do that?

“And I think it’s a ‘no’ – for any driver. It takes time to adapt and takes time to get into place.

“And if you want to go against the best driver in the world, it’s not the best thing to do. It’s not a smart move to do.

“But I would love to race against Max. I’ve enjoyed some of our battles that we’ve had and I’m looking even more forward to the battles that we’re going to have this year.”

Asked if he had held talks with other teams before committing to McLaren, Norris added: “There’s always discussions every now and then.

“I’m not going to lie and say no, there’s always little discussions and you talk to people and see ‘what could you offer’ kind of thing, but it never went further than that.”

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