Lewis Hamilton 'feels for the fans', claiming Sebastian Vettel dominance is making F1 a turn off
The German driver looks set for a fourth world title in a row after victory in the Korean Grand Prix
Monday 07 October 2013
Lewis Hamilton does not think Sebastian Vettel's dominance is good for Formula One and is worried fans will stop watching.
The German won in Korea on Sunday and is now poised to record a fourth successive title when the championship heads to Japan next weekend.
Vettel's success has clear comparisons with the dominance enjoyed by compatriot Michael Schumacher in years gone by and Hamilton is worried by them.
Recalling his own experiences of watching Schumacher, the Mercedes driver said: "Personally I feel for the fans because I remember the period of time when Michael Schumacher was winning.
"I remember waking up in the morning to watch the start of the race and then going to sleep, and then waking up when it ended because I already knew what would happen.
"I am pretty sure a lot of people are doing that today."
There is still respect from Hamilton towards Vettel, however, even if it is begrudging, as he said: "He has driven well all year.
"I've just looked at his points and he has had second, first, second, first all year. He's done the perfect job and he deserves it."
Hamilton could only manage fifth in the Korean Grand Prix to trail Vettel by 111 points, with just 125 available, heading into Sunday's race at Suzuka.
The 28-year-old Briton has now fallen to fourth in the drivers' title race, 34 points behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
But with five poles and a win to his name this year, Hamilton knows he cannot be too disgruntled, adding: "We're very happy.
"We're only a point behind Ferrari (in the constructors' championship), so we have to make sure over the next five races we consistently beat them.
"Second in the constructors' would be huge for us. That's my goal, to do that for the team."
After that, thoughts will start to turn to 2014, but Hamilton is refusing to contemplate what might be around the corner for fear the season could be another disaster.
Formula One faces its most significant change to the rules for many years next season as the 2.4-litre V8 engines are replaced by turbo-charged 1.6-litre powerplants.
The last time Hamilton went into a season when there was such a major change was in 2009, the year after his title-winning campaign with McLaren.
On that occasion there was also a major regulation upheaval, notably with regard to aerodynamics and the introduction of the kinetic energy recovery system.
It resulted in Hamilton enduring a miserable first half of the season before McLaren got their act together over the second, but by then any hope of defending his crown had long gone.
For next year, current team Mercedes - and as an engine manufacturer - are expected to be at the forefront of any championship challenge.
With this year's title bid all but over with Sebastian Vettel again exerting his dominance, the thoughts of many are starting to turn to 2014, but not just yet for Hamilton.
"I'm trying not to think about it," said Hamilton, when asked about next season by Press Association Sport.
"History has not been great in my experience. At McLaren, when the rules changed, it was a disaster.
"So I'm just going to close my eyes and not think about it because you never know.
"My focus now, apart from trying to help the team finish second in the constructors', is that I'm looking forward to getting back after Japan (the next race on Sunday) and be on it with my engineers.
"I want to see what's going on in the wind tunnel, that I feel comfortable with the direction they're going in with the car for next year and that they're on their toes, to keep them on their toes."
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