When Sebastian Vettel is on song, he is a sight to behold. In harmony with his car, which for him needs a strong front end allied to a predicable rear that he can manipulate in the way he likes, he is close to unbeatable.
Think of the Red Bull years, Vettel perfectly attuned to the exhaust-blown aerodynamics of Adrian Newey's designs, a seemingly never-ending sequence of pole positions, races surrendering to his will, an era defined in a blur of blue and purple perfection, and by Vettel's index finger raised in celebration, smiling blue eyes visible through the slit in his helmet.
But that was a long time ago; a different time. And Vettel, it seems, was a different person. Then he was all light and sun, a joke never far away. Now, the lightness is still there, at least in person, but the jokes have dried up. There's a defensiveness about him, and a red-mist rage surfaces all too often.