2) I would like to see Vettel in the same team as another WDC before I fully judge his ability (an opinion that is held by many members of the forum).
I don't understand this criteria, because chances are if he went up against someone like Button or Raikkonen people would probably still rate him below Alonso and Hamilton. I laugh at the circular logic that people use to arrive at the conclusion that Hamilton and Alonso are more worthy of the 'best driver' mantle solely because they raced against each other at Macca. Someone said earlier that Senna and Prost were regarded as great drivers because they essentially verified each other's talent. If we're going by this logic, how do we know that, say, Alguersuari and Buemi weren't the two greatest drivers in the field who were held back by their car? They verified each other's talent by being so close in terms of results, didn't they?
I suppose that counts for nothing because they haven't won any championships. Even though Hamilton and Alonso won their only championships against decidedly weaker teammates, with arguable number one status, many people cite the fact that they raced against each other as teammates to justify their talent and rank them above Vettel in terms of overall ability. Additionally, who is anyone to say that Mark Webber is a shoddy driver, too? I used to think he was below the accepted 'top tier' in terms of talent, but I really think he's stepped up his game this year and I would certainly rate him above Button and Massa, now, easily. He may not be a WDC, but he very nearly was, and to write him off as an unsuitable benchmark for Vettel is laughable, in my opinion. He's every bit as tough as the rest of the Ferrari/Macca drivers, and I don't hesitate to forget that he gave Alonso a run for his money in a number of races last year, in a car he wasn't comfortable with.
For the record, I believe that Hamilton, Vettel, and Alonso are the three quickest drivers on the grid, and there's honestly nothing to choose between them in terms of pace; if you think one is better than the other two than it's probably out of personal taste. However, I don't think they're good drivers because of the teammates they faced--I rate Hamilton for his numerous good showings in '09, '10, and '12, and I rate Alonso for his consistent results over his past three years at Ferrari. To rate them based on the teammates they faced is a wholly ridiculous and hypocritical criteria, in my opinion, because it relies on one's subjective evaluations of each drivers worth and personal bias will always exist as a factor in such a judgment. Nobody in F1--even teammates--will ever be racing on the same playing field, and as a result, I tend to assess drivers on the challenges they face individually rather than their performances against other drivers. I'm still somewhat biased towards my favourite drivers, admittedly, but I try my absolute best to be objective and give credit where it's due. Hopefully you understand.