Lewis Hamilton praised rival Max Verstappen for “raising the bar” this season and added his voice to those who support the American Andretti team’s bid to enter Formula One.

Speaking on Thursday, ahead of this weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix, where Red Bull’s Verstappen is poised to clinch his third consecutive title, the seven-time champion said the Dutchman had had a phenomenal and faultless year.

“I wouldn’t rank him,” the Mercedes driver said when asked to do just that.