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Formula One star Lewis Hamilton asked Bernie Ecclestone to broker a move to Red Bull -- and "rolled his eyes" when the sport's supremo suggested Mercedes, a report said on Sunday.
Ecclestone, in an interview with Britain's Mail on Sunday, said Red Bull were positive about a Hamilton move from McLaren, but only if Australian driver Mark Webber decided to leave the team.
The 82-year-old said reigning world title-holder Sebastian Vettel was also open to the move but despite advanced discussions at last year's British Grand Prix, billionaire team owner Dietrich Mateschitz showed loyalty to Webber.
"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 was quoted as saying.
Ecclestone said he also advised Hamilton, the 2008 world champion who was unsettled at long-term employer McLaren, to talk to German marque Mercedes, which had a staid reputation and was then the team of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher.
"Lewis rolled his eyes -- but I told him that he had nothing to lose as he wanted out of McLaren," Ecclestone said.
Hamilton eventually signed for Mercedes and is racing for the team this season alongside Germany's Nico Rosberg.