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F1 NEWS 

Theissen: Hamilton '04 talks not serious

BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen has played down suggestions that he blocked the possibility of Williams signing Lewis Hamilton at the end of 2004.

Williams co-owner Patrick Head revealed earlier this year that his team had the opportunity to sign Hamilton when he was racing in the F3 Euro Series, but the matter was dropped when Theissen said he was not interested.

Head said: "We were with BMW at the time and I think Frank (Williams) rang Mario Theissen and said 'look, this guy looks as if he could be pretty good and whatever and he has come to us saying can we help him."

"And I think Mario said they weren't prepared to provide any support and we weren't in a position financially where we could finance his racing. So much to Frank's annoyance (now), he could have had Lewis in a Williams."

But Theissen has insisted that there was never a real opportunity for Williams to get Hamilton under contract at the time.

"There was no serious opportunity," said Theissen about the Hamilton situation. "We had loose talks, but it was always clear that he was a McLaren protege. So I never followed it any further."

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