F1 Supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, is concerned that Lewis Hamilton will just romp away to his fourth world title in 2017 because his Mercedes team will be unable to sign anyone strong enough to challenge the British driver.
Despite the changes to regulations next year, it is rumoured that Mercedes will still have the upper hand and with Nico Rosberg, the only man to really challenge Lewis for wins, has retired on such short notice, Toto Wolff will be unable to sign a top driver, like Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo or Fernando Alonso, to put in his place.
Therefor according to Ecclestone, fans will become bored with the series and won’t bother to go to races, or even watch it on tv anymore…
“I think nobody would want to buy tickets and go to watch a race or watch on television Lewis disappearing from us when the lights go off, and probably lapping the field a couple of times,” he told Sky Sports. "It would be bad for everybody and bad for Lewis as well, because I think he wants to win fair and wants to beat somebody.”
“I hope I'm completely wrong in my assessment of the championship with Lewis. I hope I am wrong and whoever goes and sits in the same team can beat him or hurry him up [so] that he makes mistakes. My personal opinion is that it's not going to happen.”
“I think there’s one or two of them who are capable of performing but I don't think anybody is going to beat Lewis. Verstappen has been super," he added. "When I say nobody, maybe Max in that car could hurry Lewis along a little bit. The problem is a simple one: the Mercedes team, engine, everything, is perfect and they've got the best driver in the world.”
This doesn't say much for Ecclestone's beliefs that the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull could challenge Mercedes next season.