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Toto Wolff: Lewis Hamilton building Formula One legacy

Lewis Hamilton is "building a legacy as one of Formula One's greatest drivers", according to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

Hamilton can reach another milestone in the sport if he claims pole position at this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix. A sixth pole at the Hungaroring would see the Briton -- who is second on the list of race victories with 57 wins -- match Michael Schumacher's all-time record of 68.

Lewis Hamilton. Tim Goode/PA Images via Getty Images
Having reduced Sebastian Vettel's lead in the championship to a single point after his victory at the British Grand Prix, the triple world champion can take the lead in the title fight for the first time this season with a sixth win in Hungary. Wolff expects Hamilton to carry his momentum into this weekend.

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

Despite Hamilton's win at Silverstone, it is teammate Valtteri Bottas who has been the form man of late, picking up the most points of any driver (79) across the past four races. As a result, the Finn is 23 points and less than a race victory behind championship leader Vettel.

"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 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."

Mercedes has won three of the last four races to open up a 55-point lead over Ferrari in the constructors' championship, with the Scuderia's last victory coming at the Monaco Grand Prix in May. While the German manufacturer has enjoyed an upturn in form, Wolff is anticipating a strong response from Mercedes' rivals at a track which should suit both Ferrari and Red Bull's 2017 challengers.

"We have reached the halfway point of the 2017 season and both championships are very much in the balance right now," he explained. "The points tables show that we have a small buffer in the constructors' race and a small deficit on the drivers' side. But that's not important at this stage -- there are no prizes awarded for the half-time champions.

"Our rivals will be determined to fight back strongly - and we have to anticipate that. There is no complacency at all at Mercedes, just a resolute determination to get the job done. Our approach is to take it weekend by weekend, to build our performance at each circuit in a calm and logical way and to keep pushing. The time for worrying about the points will come later."

Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/20159715/toto-wolff-lewis-hamilton-building-formula-one-legacy

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