Hamilton: No number one at Mercedes

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Lewis Hamilton has denied he is treated as a “number one driver” at Mercedes.

Hamilton’s team mate Nico Rosberg was ordered not to overtake him in the closing stages of the Malaysian Grand Prix. But Hamilton denied he is being given preferential treatment at Mercedes:

“We don’t have a one and two at Mercedes. I have always said, from the moment I was speaking to the team, that I wanted equality.”

Hamilton’s pace was slow in the latter stages of the Malaysian Grand Prix as he had been told repeatedly by his team to save fuel. Behind him Rosberg had received similar but less frequent messages and believed he could go faster.

Rosberg told his team: “Tell him to speed up a bit this is too slow” but team principal Ross Brawn replied: “Nico please drop back, leave a gap.”

“We have to look after the cars,” Brawn added. “There’s a massive gap behind and there’s nothing to gain in front. I want to bring these cars home, please.”

Hamilton later said he felt Rosberg should have been on the podium instead of him: “You have be able to look at yourself in the mirror [and say] you won fair and square.”

“In Malaysia I don’t feel like I won my spot fair and square. Although I did drive a decent race, I don’t feel spectacular about it.”

Kubica, di Resta complete Williams F1 tests in Hungary

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Robert Kubica and Paul di Resta have both completed one-day tests for Williams in a 2014-spec Formula 1 car as part of the team’s evaluation for its 2018 line-up.

Williams is known to be considering a number of drivers to partner Lance Stroll at the team next year, including existing racer Felipe Massa.

Massa is thought to be going up against Kubica and di Resta for the 2018 drive, with the latter duo taking part in a private test at the Hungaroring in Budapest this week to aid the team’s evaluation.

After missing out on a 2018 Renault drive due to lingering questions about his physical condition six years after his rally accident, Kubica tested for Williams at Silverstone last week before getting back behind the wheel of the 2014 FW36 car in Hungary on Tuesday.

Kubica’s test was called “productive” by Williams, with the Pole handing duties over to Mercedes DTM racer di Resta on Wednesday.

Di Resta raced in F1 with Force India between 2010 and 2013 before returning to DTM, but made a surprise return at this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix with Williams when Massa was taken ill. Di Resta impressed on short notice, putting himself in contention for a full-time return to F1 in 2018.

Williams has one of the few remaining seats on offer in F1 for 2018, with Massa’s future known to be in question after a quiet campaign thus far.

The Brazilian had been due to retire from F1 at the end of last year, only for Williams to recall him after Valtteri Bottas’ late move up to Mercedes following Nico Rosberg’s surprise retirement.

Massa has made clear he would like to keep racing in F1 next year, but only if the deal is right and if Williams is determined to keep him.

While Massa, Kubica and di Resta appear to be the three leading contenders for the seat, Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe made clear in Japan there was a “large range” of drivers under consideration.

“You’ve probably seen a number of names that are floating around that we’re looking at, but honestly, the range is almost unlimited,” Lowe said.

“We will consider all ideas. We’re not in a super hurry to do so, and we’ll just make sure we land the best line-up we can.”