Lewis Hamilton will be the lead Formula One driver at the Mercedes Formula 1 team according to former Williams driver Felipe Massa, after the Briton won a fourth F1 title in 2017.
Hamilton out-classed Bottas throughout the 2017 season, and ended the year with a 58-point lead over the Finn driver, who experienced three Formula 1 victories in his first year at Mercedes.
The two drivers were given equal status throughout the 2017 Formula 1 season, which saw Hamilton give up valuable points at the Hungarian Grand Prix, as the Briton had to ‘give up’ his third place to Bottas, whilst title rival Sebastian Vettel went on to claim victory.
After Hamilton was in a league of his own in the same machinery, particularly after the summer break, Felipe Massa believes Hamilton will be given a clear ‘number one’ status at Mercedes, given the potential competition from rivals Ferrari and Red Bull.
“Next year the team is completely on his [Hamilton’s] side 100 percent,” Massa said.
“So he has no issue with his teammate 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.”
“Hamilton did the perfect job,” he explained.
“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. He deserves everything that he has managed to achieve.
“This year, he made himself into a driver who has nothing to lose compared to any driver in the history.”