Sir Lewis Hamilton has conceded that winning the title with several rounds to go is not a great image for Formula 1.
In 2008, the championship went to the wire for the third consecutive season, and Hamilton was crowned the third champion in as many seasons.
The last time that had happened was in 1995, 1996 and 1997, when Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve won the gold in those three seasons, respectively.
Since Hamilton’s dramatic 2008 success, the title has gone to the final round five times, with Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Hamilton himself wrapping up eight titles between them before the end of the campaign.
The dominance of Vettel and Hamilton, while mightily impressive, perhaps somewhat took away from the spectacle of a championship fight, and the title tension in 2022 fizzled out relatively quickly too.
Max Verstappen, who won his maiden title in Abu Dhabi last year, has claimed 11 race wins in 2022, and he is set to get the championship sealed off in the next two rounds in Singapore and Japan.
The Dutchman is very likely to get the job done with four rounds to go of the year – a feat that was last achieved by Vettel 11 years ago.
That title success also arrived in Japan, and Hamilton includes his own title successes when stating that, all in all, an early championship decision is not great to watch.
“I definitely feel for the fans because for everyone and even for us, last year, going right down to the wire, that was intense for everybody,” he explained in the press conference ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.
“So it’s never great when the season finishes early, even when I experienced having it finish early at places like Mexico.
“For you as the one individual, it’s great but for the actual sport it’s not spectacular.
“I’m really grateful to have had 2008 right down to the last 17 seconds, and obviously last year, pretty much the same thing. Let’s hope for the future, it’s a bit better.”
Verstappen’s 116-point lead in the Drivers’ Standings now looks unassailable, while Red Bull’s gap of 139 points back to Ferrari leaves the Austrian team on the verge of their fifth title victory.