World renown British racing driver, Lewis Hamilton, recently clarified his viewpoints regarding Andretti Autosport’s disputed bid to enter the Formula One grid. Hamilton asserted that his support lies not with the American team in particular, but rather any team that can augment the diversity of the high-octane sport.
Earlier this week, the FIA, the international federation governing motorsport, gave the green light to Andretti’s ambitions of joining as the 11th team on the grid. Nevertheless, to officially race alongside the current ten teams, Andretti Autosport needs to finalize a commercial deal with Formula One.
However, during a media conference on Thursday preceding the Qatar Grand Prix, Hamilton seemingly expressed support for Andretti Autosport’s entry. “I’ve always felt there wasn’t enough cars on the grid,” he shared, brushing off potential criticism for his viewpoint and emphasizing the prospects for new jobs and potential seats for female drivers.
Despite his apparent endorsement, Hamilton refuted the notion of specifically advocating for Andretti Autosport in response to a post shared on the social media platform X about his comments. Instead he emphasized his support for the idea of a new diverse team in the future.
Following qualifying on Friday, Hamilton further elaborated, stating: “Yeah, well firstly, it wasn’t that I support Andretti. I think from a driver’s perspective, it’s exciting to potentially see more cars. And then the idea of an 11th team, we have over 2,000 people in our team, so that’s a huge amount of jobs.”
Hamilton emphasized the need to respect and amend the strict entry criteria to ensure significant and meaningful impact on diversifying the sport. “At the moment, it’s all white owners, and there’s a real lack of diversity from the top down. It’s all male. And that needs to change. That’s my thought.”
An active proponent of diversity within the sport, Hamilton leads the way with his own charity, Mission 44. He voiced his faith in F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali’s capability in effecting positive changes for the sport.
“I really do have 100% faith in Stefano. I’ve known him for a long, long time. I think what he’s doing at the top, there’s no-one that could do a better job than him. I know that he will make the right decision moving forward…I’m happy to leave it in his capable hands,” he expressed.