Sebastian Vettel makes ‘obvious’ Lewis Hamilton claim ahead of US Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton will edge closer to Michael Schumacher's all-time record if he wins a fifth Formula One world title this weekend in Austin, but he said on Wednesday that chasing the German great was never part of his plan.

"I think naturally for any of the champions when they have youngsters come through, naturally Michael is named the greatest driver of all time, he's got the most titles, so there will one hundred percent be a Schumacher back in Formula 1, partly because of the name, but secondly because he's doing a great job".

Hamilton now finds himself in the box seat to repeat his five-race 2014 run of winning Italy, Singapore, Japan, Russia and the United States - a tally that will net him a fifth world title, should Sebastian Vettel finish third or lower at the Circuit of The Americas this weekend.

"As a team, none of us are saying "how cool would it be if it happened this weekend", we are not focusing on ifs", he said.

Hamilton has already won nine races so far this season and looks likely to end the year in double figures, which is no mean feat considering he feels this year has been tougher than any he has experienced before.

Hamilton said the achievements of the 19-year-old's famous father, the most successful driver in F1 history, would not pile too much pressure on.

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"He's the godfather for us, one of the greats from the beginning and will always be admired in the sport", the Briton told reporters.

"It's always really unusual to hear the drivers' mental philosophy back then", he said.

"I don't think it will a burden", said Hamilton. "It's a much more confined space for us (now) - it's all about being stuck in and being safe".

Just seven races ago, Hamilton was eight points adrift of Vettel in the standings and Mercedes was struggling to match Ferrari for pace, but he now holds a commanding 67-point lead with four races to go.

"So I am just focusing on driving the best that I've driven all year long and that we get the vehicle where we need to get it".

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