Christian Horner says there is “nothing unusual” about members of Lewis Hamilton’s team sounding out a potential vacancy at Red Bull earlier this year.

Hamilton signed a new contract with Mercedes over the summer, keeping him with the team for a further two years. But Red Bull team principal Horner claims a representative for Hamilton contacted Red Bull around the time of the Monaco Grand Prix to assess him options, something he says has happened before both with Hamilton and numerous others.

“It’s only natural that the people around him would reach out at some point in time,” Horner told RACER. “He’s had a tough year; prior to him re-signing with Mercedes it’s only natural that the people around him would reach out to see what the options are. There’s nothing unusual about that, it’s some thing that’s happened in the past and it’s not unique to Lewis.”

With Hamilton disputing that the first contact came from his side, saying it in fact from Horner himself, the Red Bull team principal admitted in any case that he can’t see a lineup featuring the seven-time world champion and Max Verstappen, despite both saying they’d be happy to pair up.

“I think it’s highly unlikely,” Horner said of a Verstappen-Hamilton team. “Lewis is obviously happy where he is — he has signed a long-term contract, or a longer-term contract — there. So while it would be mouthwatering to the fans of Formula 1, it could be quite chaotic to try and manage that one! But we’re very happy with the driver pairing that we have.”

Even so, Horner says he doesn’t believe Verstappen would be overly concerned if a driver such as Hamilton was brought into the fold as his teammate.

“Max is Max, and he just focuses on himself. He just does his thing and that’s it,” Horner said. “He’s got absolute confidence in himself, so he’s not a driver that pores over a lot of data or the data of the other car.

“I think you can put anybody in the world alongside Max at the moment and he’d come out on top.”