It was apparent on the podium for the Malaysian Grand Prix that two of the three drivers saw their "achievements" in a particular way.
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel wanted to be on their respective steps due to an ability to compete at the highest level and not because of team orders.
Vettel disobeyed his team's request to remain behind his teammate Mark Webber by bursting past the Australian on his way to victory No. 27.
Lewis Hamilton on the other hand obeyed orders to keep the status quo at Mercedes and, in the process, earned his third-place finish in spite of his own competitive morals.
It was interesting to note that Vettel exchanged pleasantries only with Hamilton during the podium formalities, whilst Webber kept a firm and telling distance between them.
On the same day, news emerged that Lewis Hamilton had previously requested for Bernie Ecclestone to try to land him a seat at Red Bull for 2013.
According to reports, Hamilton approached Ecclestone after becoming disillusioned at McLaren. Unfortunately for him, Mark Webber was offered the first refusal on the Red Bull seat, a decision he will no doubt have taken little time in making.
An F1 neutral may have felt let down at hearing this revelation. To have Vettel and Hamilton in the same car would have been a marvellous outcome. The only thing surely more desirable would be a Vettel and Alonso pairing.
Your mouths would water constantly at the idea of a line up backed up with five drivers titles.
But after Sunday, maybe Hamilton's inability to force himself into Red Bull was for the best.
Vettel, when necessary, has shown that he is able to not only win from the front but also attack and succeed from behind.
It just so happens that, for the most part, he has rarely had to win from further back. Sunday he showed that he is more than willing to fight for a win, if you ignore the blatant disregard for team orders.
Lewis Hamilton has always shown an intense approach to winning. This is an approach he has indeed had to tone down, as at times he has ended up on the retirement list when he could have settled for a points scoring finish.
Yet it is in his nature to keep his foot firmly on the pedal as he chases glory. This is the type of behaviour a Formula 1 fan admires him for.
Both drivers, you have to feel, are in it to win it, and preferably by means of their own making. So maybe a pairing of both is too dangerous a mix to take on.
Currently, at Red Bull, you have to feel that there is a clearly defined number one and number two.
Mark Webber just does not have the consistency to rival his more naturally gifted German teammate over an entire season. But at times like Sunday and in Brazil last year, the team will let the Australian win to ensure a maximum points scoring finish for the team.
If you replaced Webber with Hamilton or someone like Fernando Alonso, you would immediately find yourself in a position where the second driver will most certainly take the fight to Vettel. He would not allow himself to be the number two.
It was demoralising to see how much Mercedes' decision to keep Rosberg behind Hamilton actually demotivated the Brit. He did not want to acquire a podium finish that way.
I would not be surprised if Hamilton was inspired by Vettel's decision to take the race into his own hands. He must have had some admiration for his title rival if he asked to be put forward for Red Bull to begin with.
Vettel will be apologising to his team and to Webber a lot in the near distant future, which is something of a shame for someone who just wanted to race.
Former racing driver David Coulthard has recently gone on record to say that Vettel needs to win a title with another team before his critics will accept him as a Formula 1 legend. If he only wins titles at Red Bull then you could argue that he only triumphed by being in the strongest car.
So could Vettel not join Hamilton at another team for us to see how they compare with the same machinery beneath them?
Imagine what would have happened Sunday if Hamilton was in Webber's position and it was the Brit who had to defend a lead. Would Hamilton display the same frustrated and angry attitude demonstrated by Webber if Vettel had snatched the win from him in the dying stages?
I highly doubt it, as Hamilton has always seemed to be a driver who will fight for his successes and not expect it to be handed to him on a plate. If anything, Hamilton would blame himself and not his teammate.
Hamilton's decision to leave the team who nurtured him shows that he has a burning desire to be challenged.
For the time being, we will just have to wait and see how each driver performs against the other in cars of varying capabilities.
But we can all carry hope that in the future the likes of Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel or Kimi Raikkonen will end up competing on a more equal playing field. Until then, we should be thankful that we have drivers who show a want to compete until the very end.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!