Lewis Hamilton has come out in support of Michael Andretti’s potential Formula 1 entry but concedes there are “definitely” others in the paddock who don’t agree with him.
Earlier this week motorsport’s governing body, the FIA, gave Andretti’s plan to enter F1 with General Motors’ Cadillac the green light.
But the battle to become the 11th team on the grid is by no means over as Andretti-Cadillac still have to convince Formula One Management of their worth and already the list of naysayers from team bosses to F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is growing.
Lewis Hamilton says Andretti’s arrival would be ‘great’ for F1
It could, it has been speculated, come down to a legal battle as while Andretti ticked every one of the FIA’s financial and sporting requirements, FOM could still block their arrival.
But on a topic that has divided the paddock, with more voices against than in favour, Andretti can count on the support of seven-time World Champion Hamilton.
“I think it’s great,” he said. “I think in F1 I’ve always felt that there weren’t enough cars on the grid.
“There will definitely be people that won’t be happy for me to be so supportive of it! But I think it’s great.
“It’s an opportunity for more jobs, there’s another two seats available for a potential female driver to come through. It opens up more possibilities, and I think it’ll be more exciting for the race.”
However, his Mercedes team-mate George Russell isn’t as welcoming as he says what Formula 1 needs the most is “quality over quantity”.
“Formula 1’s the pinnacle and we want to see quality competition,” he said. “So I’m not for, I’m not against, but definitely if there were to be an extra team, it’s got to be a quality outfit, one that can add to the sport.
“We want to see competition. In an ideal world, you want to see all 10 teams fighting against one another. So I’m sure F1 will come to the best conclusion and answer, whatever it may be.
“But we’ve got to have quality over quantity. But as I said I don’t feel strongly.”