Lewis Hamilton building a legacy as one of Formula 1’s greatest drivers, says Toto Wolff

Lewis Hamilton building a legacy as one of Formula 1’s greatest drivers, says Toto Wolff

Hamilton can equal Schumacher’s pole record at this weekend’s Hungarian GP.

Lewis Hamilton is “building a legacy as one of Formula 1’s greatest drivers”, according to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, as the Briton looks to reach another milestone in the sport.

Should he claim pole position at this weekend’s Hungarian GP, three-time world champion Hamilton will match Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 68.

The 32-year-old is the most successful driver at the Hungaroring, having won there five times, and a sixth victory will see him take the lead of the Drivers’ Championship for the first time this season.

Hamilton trails Sebastian Vettel by one point after victory in the British GP and Wolff expects his driver to build on the momentum from his Silverstone performance.

“Our drivers have been one of our biggest strengths so far. Lewis has delivered some consummate performances this year in China, Canada and Silverstone in particular,” Wolff said.

“The win in front of his home crowd was emotionally charged and I am sure he is carrying that energy with him right now.

“As we see almost each weekend, he is equalling and matching new records in our sport’s history – and building a legacy as one of the sport’s greatest drivers.

“Budapest has always been a good circuit for him but, as he knows better than anybody else, the past is no guarantee of future performance. It’s all about the right preparation, hard work and delivering on the day.”

Most pole positions

Driver Pole positions
Michael Schumacher 68
Lewis Hamilton 67
Ayrton Senna 65
Sebastian Vettel 47
Jim Clark 33
Alain Prost 33
Nigel Mansell 32
Nico Rosberg 30
Juan Manuel Fangio 29

Mercedes hold a 55-point lead over Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship and appear to have reasserted their dominance of the sport by winning three of the last four races.

Ferrari have not won since May’s Monaco GP but Wolff is wary of a reaction from the Scuderia at a track which should suit their 2017 car, while Red Bull are expected to bring a big upgrade to the Hungaroring.

“Our rivals will be determined to fight back strongly – and we have to anticipate that,” Wolff said.

Most Grand Prix wins

Driver Grand Prix wins
Michael Schumacher 91
Lewis Hamilton 57
Alain Prost 51
Sebastian Vettel 45
Ayrton Senna 41
Fernando Alonso 32
Nigel Mansell 31
Jackie Stewart 27
Jim Clark 25
Niki Lauda 25

“There is no complacency at all at Mercedes, just a resolute determination to get the job done.”

Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas produced one of the drives of the day at Silverstone to come from ninth on the grid following a gearbox penalty to finish second.

The Finn is only 23 points off the lead in the championship – less than a race victory – and Wolff has praised the way Bottas continues to improve as he grows more comfortable in the team.

“In the other car, Valtteri has embodied Finnish resolve and fighting spirit. He has a fierce work ethic, steely approach and a great natural talent,” he said.

“He threw himself into the challenge of switching teams and we are now starting to see his full potential reveal itself.

“I have the feeling he is getting better with each passing weekend and is already a more complete driver than at the start of the season.

“I’m excited to imagine how he will continue to develop for the rest of the season.”

Skysport