Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton's dominance shows a worrying trend in Formula 1

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Following his win in Russia, Lewis Hamilton has all but won the 2015 Championship, which will add him to the exclusive clubs of three-time winners and back-to-back champion.

Hamilton has been untouchable this season, with team-mate Nico Rosberg a shadow of last year, as if exhausted by the 2014 showdown - it's difficult to remember Rosberg passing drivers outside of the pitstop undercut.

An insurmountable 66-point lead to Sebastian Vettel, the Stevenage-native will no doubt claim the title at Austin with a 10th win on a track he enjoys in a country he loves.

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In doing so, Hamilton will emulate his hero - the late and great - Ayrton Senna by becoming a three-time champion and back-to-back champion; nailing himself down, with Vettel, as one of the all-time greats of F1.

However, a closer inspection reveals a continuing trend of F1 championships, stretching back to 2010.

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2010

The 2010 F1 season could have been won, at one point, by as many as five drivers representing three teams, but it ultimately come down to three men in Abu Dhabi: Mark Webber, Vettel and Fernando Alonso.

Webber would have been a worthy champion with an emotional story, given his career and what would have been the first Australian champion since Alan Jones in 1980.

Alonso arguably should have won but for suicidal strategy errors by Ferrari as both the Spaniard and Webber became held-up by the Renaults of Vitaly Petrov and Robert Kubica.

It allowed Vettel to charge away with a faultless drive and win the championship by four points - the only time he had led the championship that year.

2011

Following their win in 2010, Red Bull, with Vettel, were unstoppable with the RB7 in a record-breaking year.

The German claimed 15 pole positions, winning 11 races - breaking records set by Nigel Mansell in 1992 - to become the youngest double and back-to-back world champion.

Red Bull claimed all-but-one pole position in 2011 - a streak broken in Korea by Hamilton - but Vettel's team-mate Webber showed similarity to Rosberg this year as he struggled to keep the pace with the German.

Vettel won the title by a margin of 122 points to Jenson Button with Webber 134 points behind.

2012

2012 was a strange season, with seven drivers winning the first seven races. McLaren, for the first time in years, produced a car that was quick from the beginning.

The British outfit should have won both championships but crazy early-season pit stops and poor reliability saw their hopes fade and Lewis Hamilton leave - in the last season we saw McLaren win a race and claim pole positions.

The season came down to Vettel and Alonso again, with the Spaniard dragging his comparatively poor Ferrari to Brazil with a hope of winning the championship.

But it wasn't to be as Vettel recovered brilliantly after cutting across Bruno Senna and causing a collision on the first lap to finish sixth and claim his third title by three points ahead of Alonso.

Incidentally, Hamilton and Button finished a lowly fourth and fifth in the championship that should have been much better.

2013

In the final year of the V8-era, Red Bull, with their Adrain Newey-designed RB9, dominated the field, again, with more records falling to the man from Heppenheim.

Despite the Malaysia GP fiasco, where Vettel disobeyed team orders and overtook a slower Webber, the German could not be matched by anyone, with Alonso a distant second place, with a 155-point deficit.

Vettel became only the fourth driver to win four or more Drivers' Championships - and the youngest - but was unfairly booed by fans throughout the year and broke another record by winning nine consecutive races, surpassing Michael Schumacher and Alberto Ascari.

2014

From pre-season testing, it was obvious the Mercedes GP would be the number one team, but not quite this far ahead.

Constant swapping of leader between Rosberg and Hamilton, the season almost replicated that of 1984, with Rosberg dominant in qualifying but Hamilton having the upper hand in the race.

The championship went down to the wire in Abu Dhabi or 'Abu Double' for the controversial double-points system that gave the German a chance of claiming the title.

However, it was Hamilton who prevailed, claiming his eleventh win as Rosberg's bid fell apart with engine problems.

2015

Like 2011, Rosberg is in the position of Webber - mentally exhausted from the year before with the championship going down to the wire.

The German has offered no answer for Hamilton, resigned to ludicrous statements in a desperate attempt to unnerve his team-mate, while only providing one performance of aggressive driving, with on-track overtaking in Bahrain.

The nearest rival to Hamilton has been his old foe Vettel, who is turning Ferrari around and brought them back to the front - which everyone wanted to see.

Hamilton now finds himself in the same position as the German - a dominant driver in an equally dominant car, until 2017 at least.

2016

With no major rule changes to come in until 2017, the trend is set to continue, but like Mercedes in 2013, Ferrari have won the odd race this year and will push them all the way.

Hamilton will rightly start as favourite, but eyes will be on Rosberg to see if he can recover from this year's slump and whether the Scuderia can continue their progression.

Nothing against Hamilton, but you do want to see Ferrari winning and in contention for the good and the romance of the sport, and the whole German-Ferrari rebirth harking back to the Schumacher days.

Here's hoping.

Who will win the 2016 Drivers' Championship? Have your say in the comments section below!

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