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Horner told Merc to sign Lewis

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner has revealed he advised Mercedes to sign Lewis Hamilton, as he wanted to weaken McLaren - only for Hamilton and Mercedes to then become F1's new dominant force. 

Horner says Hamilton was "desperate" to drive for Red Bull in both 2012 and 2013, but that they rejected the chance to sign him as they felt a partnership with Sebastian Vettel would not work.

Instead, seeing McLaren as a bigger rival, Horner says he encouraged Mercedes to make a move for the Woking squad's starlet.

"He was desperate to drive for the team. In 2012, he wanted to come and drive for us, but there was no way we could accommodate him while Sebastian was with us," Horner told F1 Racing magazine.

"Then before he signed for Mercedes, he was very keen to drive for Red Bull for 2013.

"The McLaren had been very competitive in 2011 and 2012 and I thought it would probably be better for us for him to be at Mercedes than McLaren.

"So in the event of us not being able to sign him, I encouraged Niki Lauda to sign him to weaken McLaren - not envisaging that Mercedes would become the absolute powerhouse they are today."

Since Hamilton left McLaren at the end of 2012, the team have not won a race. Instead, it is Mercedes who have become the dominant force in F1, ending Red Bull's run of four successive titles.

Hamilton has won back-to-back drivers' titles with the Silver Arrows in 2014 and 2015, with the team also picking up the constructors' title on both occasions. Of the last 38 races, only six have not been won by Hamilton or Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

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