Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Losail International Circuit, 2023

Hamilton cheers Andretti news ‘but some people won’t be happy I support it’

Formula 1

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Lewis Hamilton welcomed the FIA’s decision to approve Andretti’s application to enter a team into Formula 1. However he said other people won’t be happy he supports it.

The FIA announced on Monday it had approved Andretti’s bid to join the grid as its 11th team. It is now up to Formula One Management to agree commercial terms with the new entrant. However F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and several team bosses have publicly opposed any expansion of the grid.

F1 last featured 11 teams, and a total of 22 cars, in 2016. Hamilton said the prospect of the grid expanding is “great” news.

“I’ve always felt that there wasn’t enough cars on the grid,” said the seven-times champion. “So, whilst there will definitely be people that won’t be happy for me to be so supportive of it, I think it’s great.

“It’s an opportunity for more jobs, another two seats available for a potential female driver to come through. It opens up more possibilities and I think it’ll be exciting for the race.”

Hamilton’s team mate George Russell was one of many drivers who was less enthusiastic about opening the grid up to more teams.

“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.”

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Andretti are already active in several other series including IndyCar and Formula E. Max Verstappen said he was impressed by their operation but understands why some team owners are not in favour of allowing another competitor in.

“Everything I’ve seen so far – plus I think the partners they have and the name – they have shown that they are a professional team. So it would be, I think, nice because it gives more opportunities for the driver’s side.

“But I can understand from the team’s side they don’t want it. So it’s a tricky one, it’s a tough one.

“At the end of the day, the FIA, the teams and of course FOM, they have more information about how serious everything is and how well everything is prepared. So that’s why it’s not going to be a very easy decision to make.”

Even Fernando Alonso, who raced for Andretti at the Indianapolis 500 in 2017 and was in the hunt for victory, was reluctant to fully throw his support behind their bid to enter F1.

“They’re a great team,” he said. “Michael will be obviously a great name to add to Formula 1.

“But there are other people in charge of these kind of decisions: First FIA and then FOM and the teams as well. So for me – I don’t know exactly what to say, whatever is the final decision is going to be okay.

“I like Michael, as I said, I like the organisation, but I also understand other things and I will support as well whatever Aston Martin is the position and I will be okay with anything.”

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33 comments on “Hamilton cheers Andretti news ‘but some people won’t be happy I support it’”

  1. Coventry Climax
    5th October 2023, 18:48

    I don’t give a hoot what you support or not, to be frank. Even if we share opinions on this one.
    I know, I’m likely a minority. For now.

    1. Somehow I don’t think Hamilton is talking about you.

      1. That’s not what he said though.

    2. I guess Hamilton doesnt care for your opinion either

    3. You are unreal Coventry? As a Formula 1 fan ad Hamilton fan i dont i dont care avout the topic.

      Ferrari and Redbull get 200 and 150 milion just for showing up per the concorde agreement. Thats 100,000% more relevant than having a opinion on a Lewis opinion which he clearly does care to much about.

      This feels somewhat like puting your life savings according to wich way Hamilton looks first in the next intervju.

      1. Haha well said. After this press conference it’s clear to me that unfortunately Andretti is never going to enter F1

        1. Was a reply to S below on Alonso’s comment

  2. Covcentry Climax
    5th October 2023, 18:52

    Where Alonso is concerned, of course he’s answering a question, but if you’re OK with anything, that’s generally also known as ‘I don’t have an opinion’. And that is something I sincerely doubt, as Alonso generally does have an opinion on things.

    1. That was a Teflonso answer he gave, if ever I saw one.

    2. That’s just Alonso’s diplomatic way of saying “I totally disagree with the position of my employer, but I won’t say it explicitly.”

  3. ““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.”

    Interesting statement from someone that has been sub par quality in races this year :-)

    Does he also want to argue that Haas, Alpha Tauri and Alfa Romeo have added much quality to the season.

    1. I’m sure he was glad for Williams being were there for his seat whilst he was trundling around the back for 3 years.

    2. On wallstreet you would be called a permabear. At this point in time, do we need more hate Jimmy?

      Jimmy? Have ever thought how much you contribute the industry built around Hamiltins name? People like you will keep him relevant long his retirement.

      1. Why are you bringing hamilton in? That’s a russell’s statement and that’s who jimmy was referring to.

  4. In general 3 things I want added to F1 is 3 more teams.

    Next should be Porsche.

    1. That definitely won’t happen this time, they gave up on those plans a while back.

    2. They should add different kind of races. Right now it is only FFA format. They should have like 40 races in a year but only 6 teams per race. All teams will race 24 races overall.
      Or they should have a sprint of one car each team. Some changes like this will spice things up. Also it will allow other teams to score also.

  5. George towing the official Toto line is kind of disappointing. I was happy to see Hamilton’s answer, until he had just had to cram a virtue signaling line in again. It’s more effective when you don’t talk about SJW issues every time, Lewis.

    1. You guessed wrong. I’m a democrat, a liberal and have mixed race children. I just don’t like people stuffing in these type of comments every single chance they get for their own brand. There’s not a female driver yet even doing well in F2. Seems strange to make these new seats about women when there are not yet even close to eligible.

    2. It is virtue signaling because it is only lip service. If Sir would decide to retire in order to effectively give an opportunity to some new driver, then it would cease to be virtue signaling.

      1. just some math for those who got some trouble: new team = 2 seats, retirement of one driver = 1 seat.

  6. “We’ve got to have quality over quantity” is such an odd statement to make. The outfit known as Alfa Romeo last won a race in 2008 – their only one, Alpine last won in 2021 – the time before that was over ten years ago, the outfit known as Aston Martin won a fluke win in 2020 and never won before or since, Haas has never won anything, McLaren’s last two wins are from 2021 and 2012, Williams hasn’t won anything since 2012, and the one before that fluke was in 2004. Even Mercedes has only won a single race in the last two seasons.

    Where’s all that quality Russell is talking about?

    Andretti can go ten years without winning a race and still do ‘better’ than some of the current teams.

    1. Yep a circular argument.

      Russell – “You can’t come and play in our sandpit for we don’t know if your are good enough to play with us.”
      Andretti – “How can we show you we are good to play with you until you let us play in your sandpit”.

      Do people like Russell thinks things through? Does not say much for the IQ quota.

      1. It’s a good point, maybe he would support some sort of cycling in and out of the bottom team now that he isn’t in that bottom team. He benefitted from there being more that just competitive teams for a long time.

      2. @Gerrit He’s just towing the party line, as most drivers and team members will. Shame, but it’s to be expected

    2. @MichaelN
      First of all, those are not his words. I don’t think I remember a case where I heard his own opinion actually. For me, Russell comes across as a hand puppet.

      That said, you can say what you want about the performances of some teams but they’re in the field. Sometimes a bit higher up even…
      What they’re afraid of is Andretti being SO far off their failure will damage F1. That’s what’s behind the ‘quality’ remark

      1. One team (or even three) being miles behind the rest of the pack does absolutely no damage whatsoever to F1 itself, nor to the other teams that participate in it. Such a performance reflects only on that/those teams alone.

        Of course Mercedes, et al, are not afraid of this aspect – they afraid of the direct, short term financial losses.
        The comments on quality are their catch cry for their fellow ‘believers.’

        1. @S
          Well it might if entering F1 would pull in a lot of first time viewers from the US of A. But by hypothesizing them miles behind the rest at least assumes they’re good enough to even make it to the grid in the first place. At the moment there are still way too many doubts about basically every aspect of the car to be. Beyond that, doubts about how there could be a functional team with enough quality to even work on said car. It might be a complete disaster in all ways combined with a loud owner who is quick to blame F1-EU-snobs keeping him back because they’re American.. well, yes that has the potential to ruin the F1 market in America while they’re just about to just maybe scratch the surface of in getting traction? Not to mention the money invested into said market..
          I’m not convinced it will for sure NOT be a complete disaster because pundits aren’t

          And yes, Mercedes and any other team are just looking at short term financials.

    3. Absolutely agree, they have no grounds whatsoever to say andretti can’t at least be competitive in the midfield and I hope they won’t be able to stop their move, I’d be curious to see how a new team with significant resources does.

      1. @esploratore1
        Honest question: can you point me to a publication or interview/podcast where an F1 insider with actual credibility thinks Andretti will be successful*

        *) Be on the grid with a functional team, with a car that is competitive to at least the current bottom end of the field

  7. Of course every driver should be happy with this. It’s two more seats and an opportunity a race and championship winning car is added. Can’t see (apart from traffic on track) what would be negative about a new entry for any of the drivers.

  8. Seems like the top drivers like the competition. But if you are a Russell kind of driver I can understand a new team is a threat, and you have to kiss the behind of the team boss a bit more.

    1. Maybe more related to age, experience and track record. Champs feel more free to speak their mind.

Comments are closed.