CHRISTIAN HORNER has poured cold water on Lewis Hamilton’s proposed move to Ferrari.
Hamilton can equal Michael Schumacher’s record seven world titles if he is successful with Mercedes next season.
However, the Brit is in the final 12 months of his contract and is considering his options thereafter.
If Hamilton joins Ferrari he will take Sebastian Vettel’s seat, which could trigger a huge driver overhaul up and down the F1 grid.
Max Verstappen has been linked with replacing Hamilton at Mercedes but Horner believes his talented Dutchman will stay put.
“(Verstappen’s) very happy in this team. We love having him within the team, he fits very well here.
“It’s down to us to give him a competitive car next year. But I think ultimately when the music stops, I wouldn’t be at all surprised for everybody to end up remaining in the same seats.”
Verstappen excelled in the 2020 season as he beat the pair of Ferrari’s to finish third in the Drivers’ Championship.
The 21-year-old is expected to launch a serious title challenge next year and Horner cannot wait to see his flying Dutchman take the battle to Mercedes.
“I think Max has really grown up this year,” Horner said. “He is the leader of the team. I think he has taken on that role with a great sense of responsibility.
“For me, Max is the most complete driver in Formula 1. The form that he has demonstrated throughout the year is really of a different level.
“Max has no ego problems, is very accessible and therefore so popular in the garage and with the company.
“You see that everyone wants to take an extra step for him: because they believe in Max and fully support him.
“The hours they all spend in the garage to get all parts on the car and constantly improve it: that is unprecedented.
“That’s nice to hear. It’s just very easy to have a conversation with him. You know, you can’t always talk about racing cars.”
But fellow Red Bull chief Helmut Marko does not share the same opinion.
He said: “Hitting the road (Max) may be quicker, but if you look at the complete package, Hamilton is still better.
“He is incredibly fast and has a lot of experience. We’ve seen that over and over again.
“He isn’t at the top in the first, second or third free practice, but in qualifying he is there and drives his best lap.” — Express