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Horner: Hamilton contract stalling all about money

NEWS STORY
24/05/2018

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was clearly in the mood for a little mischief today, when he suggested that the delay in Lewis Hamilton agreeing a new deal with Mercedes is all about money.

Asked how the talks are progressing, Toto Wolff told reporters in Monaco: "It's a funny situation because we have been discussing for a long time.

"We get together and sort things out and then get busy in our daily operation jobs - us on the team side and Lewis on his preparation," added the Austrian. "It shows that we have great confidence in each other; nobody is pressuring each other. We haven't set a fixed date where we want to announce but I can tell you that I don't see a reason why this shouldn't be happening.

"It is in the process of just closing," he replied, when asked when it will become a priority. "There is a bit of an email ping-pong on details.

"I don't want to set a date because then you will be asking me why, why hasn't it been done," he continued, "but maybe we choose one of the nice grands prix in the future, in the next couple of months."

Told that yesterday Hamilton had said he's in no hurry to sign, Wolff said: "This is a pretty normal procedure, that you talk to each other and you negotiate in a completely normal procedure, similar to what happens in some of the other teams.

"I mean, Daniel's and Christian's situation is maybe similar," he added, referring to Red Bull's ongoing talks with Daniel Ricciardo. "This is work in progress and we see no hurry to pressurise each other into signing a document that will eventually anyway happen.

"I don't know what he said yesterday but we've had very good conversations and there is no desire for him to leave the team and we have no desire for us to lose him."

Asked if the delay suggested that Hamilton is still available, Horner replied: "I can only imagine that a delay can only involve money. And I should think it's such a grotesque amount of money that Toto's talking about, it probably is what's making his and Niki's eyes water at the moment.

"He's got an expensive lifestyle. He's a four-time world champion and I doubt he's cheap. I can only envisage that that's probably got something to do with the delay."

The Briton was not as forthcoming however, when it came to offering insight into the situation with Ricciardo.

Asked if the Australian's future is inter-linked with the team's engine supply for 2019, Horner said: "Daniel is fully aware that we are wanting to make the best choices for the future regarding the power unit, to put us in the most competitive position we can possibly be in, and of course that is absolutely in his interest. So, during the next month or so engine things will probably pretty much come to a head and then drivers will inevitably follow on from that.

"Daniel has been with Red Bull for a long time now. He's aware of the capability of the group and the team and he is very comfortable in the team. So once the engine scenario is sorted I think things will move reasonably quickly.

Asked, in percentage terms, how confident he is of retaining the Australian, Horner said: "It's always difficult to put a number on these things. But we're very, very happy with Daniel. He does a great job in the team, he's a popular member of the team and there is a desire for us to retain him for next year.

"Sixty per cent?" he was asked

"That's your number," came the reply.

Check out our Thursday gallery from Monaco, here.

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1. Posted by Spindoctor, 25/05/2018 8:45

"' Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye....'"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Red5, 24/05/2018 17:58

"Horner is a bit of an unlikable chap, he always seems to have a snide comment to make about everyone and everything."

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