Lewis Hamilton has found a new level in recent weeks that has enabled him to pull clear in the Formula One drivers' championship, according to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

The four-time world champion has opened a 40-point lead over Sebastian Vettel heading to the Russian Grand Prix after victories in Italy and Singapore.

Hamilton has finished in the top-two positions in his last six races and looked good during practice in Sochi on Friday, finishing half a second clear of Vettel in FP2. And Wolff has been particularly impressed with the Briton's hunger to continually raise his performances, something he thinks makes Hamilton a "complete" driver.

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"He's certainly performing on a very high level," Wolff told a media conference on Friday.

"Singapore was definitely one of the best race weekends I've seen from him. I think he's just in a good place.  It's been a while that we work together in Formula 1, that he's been part of the team, and he's become a very solid and reliable pillar within the team and in the car's development."

"And generally, I think, without wanting to go into too much detail, I think he is in a good place in his life and he enjoys racing. He enjoys the activities outside of racing, give him a good car and then he's able to perform on a level that is unseen."


Wolff added: "What is impressive with him is the constant development and the search for the optimum performance, and this translates into every aspect of his life."

"It's how the briefings are being done, how the interaction with the engineers happens, the analysis of his own driving. He's the only driver I've ever heard saying, 'I haven't driven well, first we have to look at my driving and then we look at the data'.

"This constant drive for perfection happens every year and is, I believe, one of the reasons why he is such a complete racing driver."