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Hamilton wanted Red Bull deal - Ecclestone

ESPN Staff
March 24, 2013 « Under-fire Whitmarsh soaks up blame for MP4-28 | Williams changes Maldonado's engine »
Lewis Hamilton was eyeing a drive at Red Bull last year, according to Bernie Ecclestone © Sutton Images
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According to Bernie Ecclestone, Lewis Hamilton wanted to join Red Bull this year but team owner Dietrich Mateschitz gave Mark Webber the option of staying on before entertaining the idea.

Hamilton left McLaren for Mercedes over the winter, but a report in the Daily Mail says he approached Ecclestone hoping the F1 supremo could broker a deal with Red Bull. Ecclestone said reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel would have been open to the idea, but that Mateschitz wanted to give Webber the option of staying on for another season.

"Sebastian wouldn't have cared if Lewis had signed for the team," Ecclestone told the Daily Mail.

"Dietrich is a very honest, straightforward guy and told Mark the door was open for him to stay. That was good of him.

"Had Mark gone, Dietrich would have signed Lewis."

Ecclestone said he then proposed the idea of approaching Mercedes to Hamilton.

"Why not talk to Mercedes, Lewis?" Ecclestone recalls asking Hamilton. "Lewis rolled his eyes," he added, "but I told him that he had nothing to lose as he wanted out of McLaren."