Lewis Hamilton to Red Bull? Christian Horner JOKES of stunning deal

Lewis Hamilton to Red Bull? Christian Horner JOKES of stunning deal

Red Bull are currently mulling their options in case Daniel Ricciardo opts not to extend his contract.

The Australian is 29 in the summer and has yet to decide whether he will remain with Red Bull beyond 2018 as he weighs up how competitive the team will be in the upcoming season.

Meanwhile, Briton Hamilton is expected to put pen-to-paper on a £40million-a-year deal with the Silver Arrows in the coming weeks.

The world champion's current deal also ends later in 2018, with Horner suggesting a major play to snatch Hamilton from their rivals is not a complete fantasy - though it is incredibly unlikely.

Horner told CNN Sport: ”Lewis too is out of contract this year.

“It's difficult to see him leaving Mercedes, but I guess you can never say never.

“I can’t envisage that at this point in time. Our priority is to retain our two drivers that we have.

“I’d be very surprised if he was to leave. But it won’t be a cheap deal for Mercedes this time.”

Carlos Sainz Jr is likely to be Red Bull's first port of call should Ricciardo decide to leave the Milton Keynes-based team having established himself as one of F1's brightest talents at sister team Toro Rosso.

Sainz Jr remains under contract with Red Bull although he is currently on loan at Renault and the Spaniard said on his future recently: “I think there are no more secrets in my contractual situation at the moment.

“But honestly, it would be very stupid talking about 2019 especially when 2018 hasn’t even started. 

“The vote of confidence that Renault has put in me deserves focus on this project. I’m working as if I’m going to be here forever.

“I’m not even considering 2019.”

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