Hamilton fears Vettel's dominance is bad news for Formula One
Lewis Hamilton does not think Sebastian Vettel's dominance is good for Formula One – and is worried fans will stop watching the sport.
The German won in Korea last 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 power plants.
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.
For next year, current team Mercedes – as an engine manufacturer – are expected to be at the forefront of any championship challenge.
"I'm trying not to think about [next season]," said Hamilton. "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."
Niki Lauda has denied suggestions Ross Brawn is set to leave his position at Mercedes, revealing he is still in discussions with the team principal.
German magazine Sportbild has claimed that Brawn would leave his role at the end of the year.
But Lauda, the Mercedes chairman, told a German news agency: "I am in negotiations with Ross Brawn. There is still no decision on how to proceed in the long term. That is the situation. And that has been the situation for a long time."