Christian Horner details conversation with Lewis Hamilton’s dad after Toto Wolff snub

Formula 1: Jenson Button on rumours of Lewis Hamilton retiring

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Christian Horner has provided a glimpse into the aftermath of the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix finale and revealed that he had a chat with Lewis Hamilton and his father. The Red Bull team principle failed to find his Mercedes counterpart, though and has taken a subtle dig at Toto Wolff. 

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won a highly-contested Grand Prix to win his first-ever world championship.  

Hamilton had led for most of the race but the FIA made the contentious decision to take the championship battle into a one-lap shootout following the deployment of a safety car.  

On softer tyres, Verstappen raced beyond his rival and lifted the first Formula One title of his career.  

Horner was shown on Sky Sports’ broadcast trying to find Mercedes team principal Wolff in the aftermath but was unsuccessful in his pursuit of the Austrian, who was left furious by the outcome.

It transpired that Wolff was busy plotting a plan to protest the end of the race, with Mercedes of the opinion that the FIA had broken its own rules.  

However, those protests were denied. Mercedes then appealed but soon withdrew their claim, with Hamilton keen not to contest a world championship in court.  

Horner has now explained his view of the post-race quest to speak to Wolff and has subtly told the 50-year-old that there must be ‘respect’. 

“At the end of the day we’re a sport, we’re not saving lives. It’s hard and competitive, but there has to be a respect at the end of it, the Brit told WION. 

“It’s been a long, hard, tough year, last season and that’s why I went to see Toto following the end of the race. 

“Unfortunately he wasn’t about, but I did manage to speak with Lewis and his father.” 

Reports continue to surface that seven-time world champion Hamilton will quit F1 ahead of the 2022 season.  

The 37-year-old has still not spoken publicly about the furore in Abu Dhabi but has another year remaining on his contract with Mercedes. 

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Horner hopes that Hamilton will choose to battle for the title in the coming campaign, which begins in Bahrain in March.  

“I certainly hope Lewis will be around this year,” Horner added. 

“He’s still driving at an incredible level, the two drivers last year were in a league of their own. 

“But ultimately, it’s his choice, it’s his career, it’s his decision, so I’m sure he will decide what’s best for him, what he wants to do, and that’s none of our business.”
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