Lewis Hamilton Claims Sebastian Vettel Is Putting Formula 1 Fans to Sleep

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor IOctober 7, 2013

SPA, BELGIUM - AUGUST 25:  Race winner Sebastian Vettel (L) of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing sits alongside third placed Lewis Hamilton (R) of Great Britain and Mercedes GP at the official press conference following the Belgian Grand Prix at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 25, 2013 in Spa, Belgium.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

British racing driver Lewis Hamilton believes fans are losing out amid Sebastian Vettel's dominance, claiming a lot of viewers will have fallen asleep during Sunday's Korean Grand Prix, per the Mirror's Byron Young.

Mercedes driver Hamilton, 28, equated the situation to that during the time of German great Michael Schumacher, who won five straight world titles at the turn of the millennium.

At present, Vettel is on course for a fourth consecutive triumph and has won six of the past eight races, prompting Hamilton to tell reporters:

I feel for the fans because I remember watching when Michael Schumacher was winning.

I remember watching the start, going to sleep, then waking up when it ended because I already knew what would happen. I am pretty sure a lot of people were doing that today. At least in my family there were!

Despite two safety-car periods during the race, the Red Bull driver led the race from start to finish to take another major step toward securing this year's championship.

Hamilton, though, could only manage fifth place on the day, having spent much of the early part of the race battling with Lotus' Romain Grosjean for the final podium place.

Vettel's success in Yeongsam was witnessed by a sparse crowd and, for the first time in a few races, the championship leader was not booed as he took his place on the top step of the podium.

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Following the last race in Singapore a fortnight ago, Hamilton had been one of those to come out in support of Vettel following boos during the post-race ceremony.

Per Ian Parkes of the Press Association, via the Daily Mail, Hamilton said:

Booing is just such a negative thing, especially when someone works so hard to be successful.ย No-one should ever be booed for their success, no matter how easy or hard it has been for them to get to where they are.

I saw a glimpse of him on the podium and I was happy for him.

A perceived lack of entertainment, though, is once more becoming an issue for Formula 1, and Hamilton will not be alone in feeling the fans are suffering at present.

Last month, Autosport's Jonathan Noble reported that Pirelli had dismissed suggestions that its decision to revert to 2012 tyre specifications was in part behind Vettel's recent dominance.

Red Bull led the campaign for a change to the 2013 tyres and has won five of six races since the change. Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery, though, dismissed the claims as "nonsense":

I thought the German and Hungarian Grands Prix were two of the best races we had ever had in Germany and Hungary-so I think that [complaint] is nonsense.

At the end of the day, Red Bull were leading the championship before [we changed tyres] and they are leading the championship now. So nothing has changed on that front.

The Formula 1 season now moves onto the Japanese GP at Suzuka next weekend, where Vettel could mathematically claim the title should he win the race and his nearest rival, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, fail to claim more than three points.

The German may have told BBC Sport's Andrew Benson that he is not yet thinking about the title, but there is an inevitability about his success that risks fans switching off for the remaining five races of the season.