Alain Prost, who knows all about F1 domination, reckons it might take "two or three years" before a rival gets on equal terms with Mercedes.
The four-time World Champion racer has personal experience at being the dominant force in F1 as he raced alongside Ayrton Senna at McLaren in 1988, a season in which the team claimed all but one victory.
But while many were in awe of the racing that season, relishing the battle between the two team-mates, Mercedes' run has led to criticism from fans and rivals.
Blaming the Brackley team for killing the competition and turning fans away, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has gone as far as to say he wants the FIA to implement some equalising measure.
However, Prost feels rivals needing to find that something to close the gap is all "part of the game."
"Somehow it feels like people no longer accept it when one team dominates, when someone does a good job," he told F1i.com. "But that is not Formula One. Formula One is about competing.
"Mercedes has been preparing for three or four years to reach the top. Unfortunately, this might take two or three years before someone reels them in, but it's part of the game.
"Then, what is happening at the back of the field with the smaller teams, their issues, this has always existed.
"Now, these problems have been made even more acute because we are in times of economic crisis and it has become harder to find sponsors."
He added: "Media coverage is also very different nowadays and team personnel are no longer used to that.
"The situation can quickly spin out of control because everything is known instantaneously; things tend to be exaggerated… when they are not purely false."