Formula 1


Is Sebastian Vettel's dominance hindering Formula 1?

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When Sebastian Vettel crossed the line, finishing first at the Korean Grand Prix, I doubt many were surprised to see him claim his eighth win of the season.

People have become accustomed to witnessing Vettel produce a stunningly quick lap in Qualifying and then controlling from the front in the actual race.

For many Formula 1 fans, myself included, every season has that familiar sense of inevitability, that no matter how inspired a driver is, no matter how well the car is working, the world championship shall belong to Vettel.

There is no greater example of this than that of the 2012 season, where Fernando Alonso drove nearly every race out of his skin, in an under-performing car, only to have the Championship snatched from him.

It is common knowledge that even an inspired performance such as Jenson Button's thrilling Canadian Grand Prix win is only a small interlude in Vettel's dominance. The simple fact is that Formula 1 fans tune in every time expecting Vettel to win, the thrill has been sucked from the sport as the outcome is already known.

So, the question is now, will fans stop tuning in? If Vettel's dominance continues will fans lose interest in the sport?

Lewis Hamilton himself stated that during Michael Schumacher's period of dominance, he felt similar emotions: "I remember waking up to watch the start of the race then going to sleep and waking up when it ended because I knew what would happen."

This is a worrying statement considering Hamilton is a professional driver and obviously an enthusiastic lover of the sport, for him to say that that period of dominance bored him, does not bode well for the sport today.

Of course one has to admire the skill, determination and sheer talent that Vettel demonstrates. His consistency in qualifying to always find that perfect lap and to control the race from start to finish is no easy feat.

However, many people argue this is made easier due the the machine that he has to work with, designed by the hugely talented and successful Adrian Newey.

Perhaps the regulatory changes next year, switching to V6 engines for example, may give the rest of the field a chance to catch up.

What can be said, though, is that Sebastian Vettel's year of dominance has pretty much sealed another World Championship title. Will Formula 1 fans be prepared to witness him gain another one?

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