Former Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa expects World and Constructors’ champions, Mercedes, to favour Lewis Hamilton over Valtteri Bottas ahead of the 2018 season. Massa was Bottas’ teammate for three seasons at Williams before the Finn replaced Nico Rosberg at the end of 2016.
Last season saw Hamilton clinch his fourth world title making it a third title for Mercedes since joining the team in 2013. Bottas’ debut season for the Silver Arrows earned him a second season as the 28-year-old finished third in the world championship, 58 points behind Hamilton.
Massa, who missed out on a World Championship victory in 2008 after Hamilton clinched the required position in the final few corners of the Brazilian Grand Prix, expects Hamilton to get the full backing from his team in a bid to win a fifth world title: “[For 2018] the team is completely on his side 100 per cent,” Massa told Autosport Magazine. “So he has no issue with his team-mate like he had maybe before [with Nico Rosberg]. So many things are really on his side and he can just make himself better and better all the time.”
The British driver finished the 2017 campaign finishing all 20 races in the F1 calendar, being the only driver to not retire from a race last season. Massa added: "Hamilton did the perfect job. He had some little issues in some races at the beginning of the season. He was just not on the pace and struggling with some stuff around the car, but I think they sorted it out. He is really doing an amazing job and having fun racing. So he is just getting the best out of it. [In 2017], he made himself into a driver who has nothing to lose compared to any driver in history."