I don't profess to be an expert on 19th century German poetry - in fact I couldn't tell you the first thing about German poetry from any era - but I did share some affinity after Valencia with a quote that popped up on a search engine from German poet and dramatist Christian Friedrich Hebbel.
He wrote: "Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion."
It's a statement that rang true of the England v Germany match, where an underwhelming and undevoted England side went crashing out of the World Cup.
But of more consequence to AUTOSPORT readers, it is a statement that so perfectly sums up why, as the controversy over the safety car situation from Valencia rumbles on, we should step back from the events a little and salute moments that could well be defining for the men at the centre of it.
Whether you support Fernando Alonso or Lewis Hamilton in the row over the rights and wrongs of what took place at Valencia, you cannot get away from the fact that here are two men - locked together in a battle for supremacy on track - whose passion to win is stronger than most of the rest of the grid.
For Alonso, that passion sometimes boils over - like Hungary in 2007, or even post-Valencia when his anger at the turn of events left him convinced the FIA was out to get him by manipulating the way it delivered Hamilton's penalty for overtaking the safety car.
For Hamilton, his passion is evident every time we get to hear him speak over the radio. Which other driver would criticise his team so openly for tyre strategy decisions like in Australia, or question them for asking him to start thinking about conserving tyre and fuel in the early stages of Monaco?
It is their absolute passion to the cause that makes them such great winners, and such great rivals.
A Ferrari team member suggested to me after the weekend that Alonso and Ferrari would have been just as upset about the safety car infringement if it had been Karun Chandhok doing it rather than Lewis Hamilton.
While that may have been true of Ferrari, I do not image for one second that Alonso would have made such a big thing of it over the radio for such long periods of the race if it was anyone else but Hamilton.
Much is made of the Alonso-Hamilton relationship, though we may never know either of their true feelings towards one another. One thing we have come to learn over the years is that true greats never really get along with those who rival their greatness.
In fact, Alonso probably cannot help but feel deep inside him that the biggest stumbling block to him achieving untold greatness in the sport has been Hamilton. Had McLaren opted for a clear number two to race alongside Alonso in 2007, then it is not hard to imagine him sitting here in 2010 as a four-time world champion - and probably sitting at the top of the rankings this season too.
He would most likely have won the 2007 and '08 titles, lost out last season when McLaren screwed up, but would have been back at the front again this year. Instead, he endured two difficult years at Renault and his dream move to Ferrari has, apart from one afternoon in Bahrain, failed to reach the heights he had hoped for.
When we look back at Alonso's career, we may well see its second half as having been defined by Hamilton. Just as Alonso defined the end of Schumacher's career (part 1), and Schumacher himself defined the closing chapter of Senna's.
What we are seeing now then is not just a simple row over safety car rules, FIA punishments and time delays, but a passionate fight to simply be the best in F1.
Would Hamilton find himself embroiled in his 'sour grapes' talk (even though he never said such a word, just acknowledged that he thought that is what it was) if he was responding to a second rate driver? Of course he wouldn't.
It's all part of the game - and an element of what makes F1 great. Just as there are perfectly legitimate reasons as to why the FIA delayed Alonso behind the safety car (to protect the medical car) and took its time in punishing Hamilton (so it could be 100 per cent sure an offence had been committed), so too you can see it from Ferrari's viewpoint: is it right a driver should race safety vehicles to the safety car line? Is it right that if the safety car is overtaken then a driver just gets a drive through?
Those rows will go on. But for now, let's just rejoice that we have drivers in F1 who do give a monkey's about their racing, their sport and their rivals. Hebbel was spot on: you take away Hamilton and Alonso's passion, you take away their greatness.
To continue reading this feature, join Autosport Plus today.
Are you an Autosport magazine subscriber? Activate your online account
- Your Autosport Plus membership includes:
- Unlimited access to Autosport's news - no monthly cap.
- Read the best motorsport features, analysis and opinion.
- Explore Forix, our comprehensive motorsport stats database.
- Choose from a monthly or yearly membership.