Massa backs Hamilton to bounce back

Felipe Massa. pictured, believes Lewis Hamilton will benefit from home support at Silverstone

Felipe Massa. pictured, believes Lewis Hamilton will benefit from home support at Silverstone

First published in National Sport News © by

Williams driver Felipe Massa believes Lewis Hamilton can feed off the energy of the home crowd at this weekend's British Grand Prix to revitalise his Formula One world title hopes.

While the World Cup might be taking all the headlines in his native Brazil, Massa knows there will be a ground swell of support for Hamilton at Silverstone on Sunday.

The British driver is in need of a positive result after falling 29 points behind Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in their private battle for this year's crown.

Speaking to Press Association Sport, Massa believes Hamilton could use the fervour of an expected 125,000-strong crowd to his advantage.

"That pressure from racing at home can give you more energy," Massa said.

"I have that when I race in Brazil. It works on the track because I am always strong there.

"Maybe with the support Lewis will have this weekend, he can have the same feeling as well."

In Austria, Williams delivered the best return since the new points scoring was introduced as Valtteri Bottas was third and Massa fourth.

It could, though, have been an even more positive return, with Massa having qualified in pole position and his Finn team-mate second on the grid but Mercedes duo Rosberg and Hamilton eventually took first and second place respectively.

Massa has every confidence that improvement can continue when the Formula One roadshow descends on Silverstone.

"It is our home grand prix for Williams Martini Racing, so I really hope we can be strong," Massa said.

"We need to always believe things can be possible, that we can be there fighting and score a big number of points.

"For me, Silverstone is a great place to celebrate my 200th grand prix, it is a great track and I hope we can celebrate with a good result as well, because that is what we are here for, to try to be competitive.

"I am sure things will improve after our good result in Austria, and that we can have a very good second part of the season, because there are still a lot of points around."

Massa was in central London on Wednesday to help promote the launch of Williams Martini Racing's new motorhome, which will offer a terrazza area, as he took on team-mate Bottas at table football.

The 33-year-old former Ferrari driver has every confidence the Grove-based team can be celebrating again themselves come Sunday.

"I think now we are at the beginning of this restart for Williams, and for me as well, that is really important," he said.

"I am sure this team can do a lot more than we are doing now - we need to keep working and keep improving the car every day, pushing the engineers hard and all the guys on the dynamics side, then that will really count at the end."

:: Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were representing the Williams Martini Racing Team ahead of the 50th Silverstone Grand Prix. Follow @WilliamsRacing for all the latest team news.

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