Lewis Hamilton publicly opposes Lawrence Stroll

Lewis Hamilton is one of the first members of the paddock to reveal his controversial stance on the matter.

Lewis Hamilton has vocalised his support of Andretti becoming an 11th team in Formula 1, something the FIA have granted permission for ahead of this weekend’s returning Qatar Grand Prix.

It was announced ahead of this weekend that the governing body had approved Andretti’s application to join F1, with the final decision now set to be made by the sport itself.

Andretti’s entry has received significant backlash from the vast majority of the paddock, who don’t want to see the sport expand beyond 10 teams.

Most are concerned that the prize fund will be divided 11 ways instead of 10, making teams worried that their market value will decrease.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko also recently raised doubts over whether there was even room for an 11th garage at some circuits, where all available space is already utilised.

Hamilton recognises that many “won’t be happy” not only for him to be in favour of Andretti joining the sport, but the American outfit joining in general.

He notes that it would create “more jobs” and give drivers wanting to race in F1 a better chance of making it, given that there will be two extra seats on the grid.

The seven-time World Champion also points out that it’ll give female drivers a better chance, whilst he also thinks that the sport simply needs more cars on the grid in general.

Article continues below

“I think Formula One, I’ve always felt that there weren’t enough cars on the grid,” Hamilton said, as reported by Fox Sports.

“There’ll 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, it’s another two seats available for a potential female driver to come through.

“It opens up more possibilities and I think it will be more exciting.”

Max Verstappen is also more in favour of Andretti being accepted by F1 than rejected, with him believing that it’d be a positive “in terms of competition”.

However, he recognises that he’s not a team principal and that the decision is down to the sport and the FIA, who “know the situation best”.

“It’s always very hard for me to comment on these kind of things because I’m not a team owner, I’m a racing driver,” Verstappen said.

“Of course in terms of competition it would probably be a nice thing.

READ: Carlos Sainz reveals when he will sign new Ferrari contract

“That’s why it’s very hard to understand, from what I’ve seen and heard it looks very professional and they want to come in and of course with the Andretti name they are a big name.

“They already have achieved a lot in motorsport so I would definitely like to see them here but it’s not up to me to decide these kind of things.

“It’s the FIA, the teams, F1 altogether they have to make that call. They know the situation best and they will make the decisions.”