After Sebastian Vettel took victory at the Japanese Grand Prix, talk on Twitter immediately turned to the inevitability of him winning his fourth world title later this month.
Race - Vettel beats Webber in Japan, but title must wait: At times it seemed that Lotus's Romain Grosjean or R... http://t.co/XXoxStOn6l— Formula1.com (@F1) October 13, 2013
Some say he’s made the season boring, others say that he isn’t a great driver.
Sour grapes aside, those same people may be better off recognizing the talent of a driver who has more race wins this season than all of his rivals put together.
Elsewhere, there was the usual speculation as to which drivers will be on the move.
Sebastian Vettel: Brilliant or Boring?
Sebastian Vettel became the sixth driver to win 5 successive #F1 Grands Prix and the first since Michael Schumacher won 7 in a row in 2004.— Infostrada Sports (@InfostradaLive) October 13, 2013
Vettel’s win in Japan was far from straightforward though.
Mark Webber and Romain Grosjean made him work for what proved to be his fourth win in the last five seasons at Suzuka.
The 26-year-old has been imperious all year, and remains on course to notch his fourth world title in succession.
Twinned with his dominance, however, is the school of thought that suggests he is making the sport boring for fans.
Over the weekend, Vettel explained why he thinks that Michael Schumacher’s dominance was more boring following Lewis Hamilton’s recent comments, per the BBC.
Speaking to the Associated Press (via The Guardian), Vettel explained:
That's a compliment, first of all. But it's very different. If you take Korea, which was more similar to Spa [the Belgian GP], the gap was something between three and six seconds for the whole race. If you look at 10 years ago [in Schumacher's time], it was more like 30 to 60 seconds, which is a big difference.
There seem to be two very distinct opinions on the matter, perfectly summed up by these two Tweets:
Love watching F1 coverage on both channels and marvelling at their valiant attempts to make another Vettel victory sound exciting.— Andy Dunn (@AndyDunn_SM) October 13, 2013
So Lewis Hamilton says that F1 is boring because Vettel keeps winning! Would he say the same if it was himself in the winning car? #growup— Alan Wilkins (@alanwilkins22) October 8, 2013
So is Vettel brilliant or boring? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Driver Speculation: Who Goes Where?
Meanwhile, post-race attention also focused on the rumours surrounding the race to secure seats ahead of 2014.
The rumour mill seemingly went into overdrive.
Nico Hulkenberg denied that he has signed a deal for next season and explained that his future has yet to be decided.
Hulkenberg denies he has signed a contract with any team yet when asked directly by @TomClarksonF1. "There are a couple of options on table"— Andrew Benson (@andrewbensonf1) October 13, 2013
Benson then suggested that a deal for Hulkenberg at Force India could have a knock-on effect.
Incidentally, a little bird told me recently that if Hulkenberg did go to Force India, Di Resta would be out. Let's see— Andrew Benson (@andrewbensonf1) October 13, 2013
Unsurprisingly, the Alonso to McLaren rumour reared its head once again. This one will likely drag on for a little while yet.
Whitmarsh: "Fernando Alonso is under contract to Ferrari for next year & maybe some years afterwards. There is no hurry to confirm drivers"— Andrew Benson (@andrewbensonf1) October 13, 2013
And, finally, Sky Sports F1’s David Croft rounded things off with his own forecast…
Hulk to Ferrari. Alonso to McLaren. Chilton to Force India. Magnussen to Marussia— David Croft (@CroftyF1) October 13, 2013
What do you make of these potential moves? Let us know who you would like to see in a different car ahead of next season.
A Matter of Opinion
Really, it’s a matter of opinion as to whether you think Vettel’s streak is good or bad for the sport.
Surely about time F1 brought in some gobbledygook new rules to stop Vettel winning. It's getting bad for business.— Mike Dickson (@Mike_Dickson_DM) October 13, 2013
But let’s look at the wider picture. Are sporting greats like Roger Federer, Lionel Messi, Ronnie O’Sullivan or Phil Taylor begrudged for dominating their own sports?
No, is the answer to that one.
There’s nothing wrong with disliking Vettel as a driver, everybody has their favourites. But you cannot suggest that he is damaging the sport or making it boring. He’s only doing his job.
The other teams and their drivers must be the ones to step up.
The driver speculation, as always, will continue to twist and turn over the next few weeks. All we can do is wait…