Am surprised Fernando is stressing the respect and admiration of various people, as though that was something he and other drivers were aspiring towards from the very beginning. If the goal was to impress others, including TPs, several other drivers might have driven differently (e.g. compromise qualy setup for race pace) and said different things along the way. So others' judgement of Fernando, in the context of the primary goal being to win the WDC, is not really representative of anything.
He has clearly taken great pains to cultivate an image, and to separate his skills from the car's alleged shortcomings, which only underlines his political acumen more than anything else. There don't seem to be many other drivers quite so interested in nurturing a legacy within and outside the paddock, except via the conventional route of winning WDCs.
He really pulled out all the stops for 2012, I'm interested to see what else in his arsenal of tricks. Personally, I think he is continuing to play mind games and is utilizing the media to mentally destabilize his opponents - he doesn't give two hoots about the general public or what the TPs think of him.
I think it simply has to do with the fact that he's no longer the most successful driver on the grid. For many years he's been the one with the most titles (not counting Schumacher in his comeback) and now Vettel is that guy.
I guess he still want people to consider him the best (which he is) but he hasn't the titles to back it up any more and that hurts a little bit. But he'll get over it once the season starts again and I don't believe he'll continue with these samurai things etc.
Edited by Lone, 21 December 2012 - 05:39.