Greatness divides opinion, then judgement softens in time and the darker sides of the greats fade. That process is accelerated by a tragic conclusion - in motorsport, such examples include the late James Hunt, Gilles Villeneuve and Ayrton Senna, and the seriously injured Michael Schumacher.
Perceptions change in such circumstances. The old saying 'you don't know what you have until it's gone' springs to mind, a phenomenon modern Formula 1 is currently experiencing with Lewis Hamilton. But a driver should not have to die to be fully appreciated.
Like all F1 legends who had their detractors, Hamilton's legacy may eventually outstrip his flaws. And while that is hopefully achieved through retirement, rather than anything severe, why is true appreciation in his time so difficult to achieve?