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Hamilton denies Horner's claim of Red Bull approach

Lewis Hamilton Lewis Hamilton - The Canadian Press

Lewis Hamilton has denied approaching Red Bull team principal Christian Horner about a potential move to the team earlier this year.

The Mercedes driver made the denial after Horner gave an interview in The Daily Mail in which he said the 38-year-old Hamilton was interested in the move.

"We have had several conversations over the years about Lewis joining," Horner said. "[Hamilton's camp] have reached out a few times. Most recently, earlier in the year, there was an inquiry about whether there would be any interest."

Hamilton, who signed a new two-year deal with Mercedes after last season, said that while he's texted with Horner, their conversations never broached joining his team.

"Basically, I picked up my old phone that I had just found at home that had my old number on it," Hamilton said. "I switched it on and obviously hundreds of messages came through. And I realized there was one from Christian to get together and have a chat at the end of the season. Initially, I just replied on my new phone. It was after a weekend. It was quite late on I found the message. It was from earlier on in the year. It was, like, months later, and I just said 'Congratulations on the amazing season and I hope we are able to compete with you soon', and he replied repeating the same thing."

Hamilton says he gave assurances to Mercedes that he doesn't intend to jump ship.

"I did tell [Mercedes team principal] Toto [Wolff]," he said. "Especially when the story broke because I have so much respect for Toto, we have a great relationship.  Also, I want my team to know because people think those things and it's never positive."

A native of Stevenage, England, Hamilton is in his 11th season with Mercedes and 17th in Formula One.

Heading into the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the seven-time World Drivers' Champion sits in third place on 232 points, 41 behind Red Bull's Sergio Perez in second.

Perez's teammate, Max Verstappen, has claimed a third straight title.