Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner says his team is not wasting too much time pondering the possibility of a future tie-up with Lewis Hamilton, because he thinks the Briton is unavailable.
Speculation that Hamilton could switch to Red Bull Racing in 2013, after his current contract with McLaren expires, erupted at the Canadian Grand Prix when it emerged that the former World Champion had held private talks with Horner behind the team offices in the Montreal paddock.
Horner says that his squad would always be interested in having the best driver lineup it can, but he says that not too much thought has been given to considering Hamilton as an option yet.
"I think that first of all, any driver in the pit lane would like to be driving a Red Bull car," said Horner in Valencia. "From a team point of view we want to have the best lineup that we can have, but we also want to have a lineup that works in harmony as a team. So, therefore, when selecting drivers you have to take certain things into consideration.
"Whether a combination of Lewis or Sebastian [Vettel] would work, we haven't given a great deal of thought because we don't believe he is available and we are happy with the current two drivers we have."
Horner admitted that he was "surprised" that Hamilton visited him at the Red Bull Racing team offices in the Montreal paddock, although he refused to divulge exactly what they had talked about.
"Lewis' visit in Montreal was a surprise visit, the content of which I am not going to disclose here," he explained. "But Lewis is a McLaren driver. He has been a McLaren driver for over 10 years and we are very happy with Sebastian Vettel, we have a long-term contract with him and we are very happy with the job that Mark Webber is doing. Speculation to the contrary is purely that, at the moment."
Hamilton reiterated in Valencia on Thursday that he will remain committed to McLaren as long as it provides him with competitive machinery, as he and his management team target getting his future sorted at the end of this year.
"I've a pretty solid contract at the moment, but Martin [Whitmarsh] has spoken to us about discussing a new contract fairly soon, in the coming months," Hamilton told Britain's Press Association. "Definitely, hopefully, by the end of the year I will have something in place and I can continue on, which is important to be able to do. Probably by the end of this year it's important to have something put in place."
Hamilton said that he would put contract thoughts to the back of his head now, saying his focus was on trying to win the title for McLaren.
"I've not thought of myself in a Red Bull car or a Red Bull suit," he said. "I have a great car right now which is capable of winning. We are the only team that has won a race, apart from Red Bull this year.
"I have got a fantastic team here. I have been with this team since I was 13 years old and like I said before; as long as we remain competitive there is no reason to go anywhere else. My plan right now is to keep focusing on pushing these guys forward and trying to improve and win more races. Me and Jenson [Button] want to have more 1-2s, the team does as well.
"The team never gives up. As long as you have that in the team then that is what you want in a team: to never give up, to always push, to always want to win."