The seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton voiced his support for the potential entry of Andretti Autosport into the world of Formula One. Spoken amidst the motor-racing festivities at LOSAIL, Qatar, Hamilton mooted that the 11th team would heighten the thrill of the race and introduce more opportunities.
The FIA, the sport’s regulatory authority, has formally given a green signal to Andretti’s proposal to be part of the F1 grid. However, the final checkpoint is still ahead. Liberty Media, the commercial rights holder of F1, is still to endorse the American team’s participation.
Lewis Hamilton, getting ready to race in the Qatar Grand Prix, disgareed with Stroll’s perspective. Hamilton is of the belief that the grid is understaffed. With Andretti’s entry, not only would it create more employment opportunities, it could also pave the route for female drivers to make their mark in the sport. This, Hamilton believes, would stir up more thrill in the racing world.
The multi-faced Andretti is a former CART champion, and son of the 1978 F1 world champion, Mario Andretti. As a team head, he has under his belt an impressive four IndyCar titles and five Indy 500 triumphs. If given final approval, Andretti’s F1 venture is set to partner with powerhouse brands like General Motors and Cadillac.
Fernando Alonso, the double-time world champion, has roughed it out with Michael Andretti’s racing troop in the 2017 Indy 500, as part of a partnership with McLaren. While Alonso respects Andretti’s potential contribution to Formula One, he refrained from backing the bid outright, asserting his trust in whichever decision F1 takes.
Max Verstappen, mere three points shy of the championship title following the upcoming sprint race, is also open to a novel addition on the grid. Speaking from the perspective of a driver, Verstappen sympathised with the concerns of team owners too, acknowledging that their stand is just as important.
As of now, there is not a definitive timeline to finalize a decision on Andretti’s entry into F1.