What we are seeing now with MS is what he always had. Grim determination. It's a quality that a lot of fans didn't like about him (in addition to the fact that he was a bit naughty a couple of times in his career) but I am a huge fan because he is flawed. He doesn't know when to give up. This quality of him has taken him to great heights and also created some moments of madness. He was rightly criticized for some of those actions but who among us hasn't done something stupid. I am just glad to see him race. He is the last of the 'Old Guard'. As a fan, I will savor each race he competes in. Whether he wins again or not .. well .. that is yet to be seen.
Since his comeback, he has taken his time to understand where he needs to improve. He has taken in a loooooot of criticism. A lot of it was unfair apart from the Barrichello incident. But he has just worked hard and focused on getting to the front. Beating Rosberg has never been an objective for him. I am one of those fanatics who watches the live timing page while watching the race and I can confidently say that when it comes to race pace, MS has the edge over Nico this year. Nico should be worried. Should MS beat Nico this year, Nico's stock will fall.
I agree 100%. His will to win borders on pathological. Look at Quali Monoco '06. When he parked the car I nearly pissed myelf laughing and I couldn't wait to hear how he was going to explain himself out of that one (or not).
Some people would say we are flawed for admiring these qualities, but when the chips are down and something needs to be done I know whom I would rather associate myself with. Someone who will take the bull by the horns and shake the hell out of him instead of lying back and allowing his n*ts to be gouged out of him. No crying after the deserved penalty for those shenanigans but let his racecraft do his talking for him, last to 6th? place in Monaco... a man's man.
I do not know whether or not his skill has really diminished all that much in his later years. One only has to look at Monaco '06 and Brazil '06 to see how racey he was back then.. And this year we have seen the flashes of Brilliance again...Canada, Monza, and Japan.
As said by many others in this thread, the lack of testing has been the biggest detriment to his lack of form in 2010 and the first part of this year. I sincerely think that he has his MoJo back, and if MB can provide him with a competitive car in 2012 there will be alot of brown stained racing suits from the rest of the field and this Forum will go Loco. The LH-fest/LH-bash will Trulli be insignificant compared to the bashing/promotion of the "Flawed One".