Anthony Hamilton claims that his son Lewis could dominate Formula 1 for the next ten years.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Hamilton Snr. said: "He has another 7-10 years left in the sport and he is extremely competitive. He is still young so he has quite a few left in him."
Now, although fathers may want the best for their children, that seems quite unlikely. In a sport as ferociously competitive as Formula 1, where the difference between winning and losing can be just a tenth of a second, it is not possible for one person or one team to keep winning forever.
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But a hat-trick of titles, making it four in all, and finally beating Sir Jackie Stewart’s total for a Brit, must now be a realistic goal for the forthcoming season for Hamilton.
Over the last two seasons, Mercedes have won 32 out of 38 races, a level of dominance that has led some to complain to FIA president Jean Todt.
"I would be more happy if there were different winners for each race, but that will never happen," the president told autosport.com.
Fellow Frenchman and four-time Formula 1 champion Alain Prost is favouring Hamilton but would like a closer fight. He recently told Sky Sports: "Lewis should be the favourite for the championship again, but what would be good for Formula 1 is a big fight between Lewis and Nico [Rosberg] and maybe [Sebastian] Vettel in the middle."
Formula 1 bosses are still discussing rule changes and tyre regulations for 2017 with a deadline set for February 29 for everything to be finalised.
It was rule changes in 2014 that heralded the arrival of the current 1.6-litre V6 turbo-charged hybrid power unit which has allowed Mercedes to dominate, and without any new regulations designed to scupper the German manufacturer, it may be Hamilton’s title to lose once more.
Nico Rosberg’s belated show of defiance at the end of last season may just have been a result of the Briton taking his foot off the pedal after winning the Championship in Austin, Texas with three races to go.
If so, it may have been a wise move, if sparing his German teammate’s blushes avoided any rule changes designed to put the skids under the Englishman. Initiatives like doubling points for the last race in 2014 are something that Formula 1 would be wise not to revisit.
After allowing Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull to dominate for so long, as they did with Michael Schumacher and Ferrari, it would appear odd for the Formula 1 power-brokers to be so determined in denying Hamilton a deserved hat-trick of titles.
Mercedes allowing their two cars to race head-to-head and giving Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari the opportunity to take advantage of the rabid rivalry is something that many motor racing fans would like to see.
That is certainly something Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne would like to see. After the Italian manufacturer failed to win a single race in 2014, Marchionne has hailed how Vettel’s three victories last year helped bring back credibility to the brand and he will be looking for more of the same in the new season.
In a sport that is so obviously all about big business, it would be unwise for Formula 1 bosses to forget about the human element that makes all sport so gripping.
So barring any last-minute rule changes, the 2016 Formula 1 season could well see the two Mercedes drivers finally let off the leash and free to battle it out wheel-to-wheel.
And sparks may well fly.
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