Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are supportive of Andretti’s bid to enter Formula 1, despite opposition from their team bosses.
The majority of teams have stated they don’t want the grid to be expanded, with Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll the latest to say the sport should stay at 10 teams. But after Andretti’s application was accepted by the FIA – opening the door for potential negotiations with Formula One Management (FOM) to try and secure a spot – Hamilton says he wants to see the attempt be successful.
“Yeah, I think it’s great,” Hamilton said. “I’ve always felt there wasn’t enough cars on the grid. While there’s definitely people that won’t be happy for me to be supportive of it, I think it’s great. It’s an opportunity for more jobs, it’s another two seats available for a female driver to come through. It opens up more possibilities, and I think it would be more exciting for the race.”
For current world champion Verstappen, the Andretti project is an impressive one but he says he appreciates why it’s not so clear-cut for those who could potentially stand to lose something through grid expansion.
“I speak from the driver’s side, but of course I’m not a team owner, so I can understand their side,” Verstappen said. “Everything I’ve seen so far, plus I think the partners they have and the name, they have shown they are a professional team. It would be nice, because it gives more opportunities for the drivers’ side.
“But I can understand from the team’s side, they don’t want it. It’s a tricky one, it’s a tough one. And at the end of the day, the FIA and the teams, and FOM, they have more information about how serious everything is and how well everything is prepared. That’s why it’s not going to be a very easy decision to make.”
RACER understands any analyses by FOM is likely to take a number of months and not be completed before the end of the current season.