I see what you are saying Matthijs, and in this case, the championship is now more weighted to not making any major mistakes – you are well rewarded for always being on the podium, and this is what Vettel has subsequently done. Ferrari should have borne this in mind in Malaysia, but they wanted to be more aggressive, as they felt they have played safe too much too recently to really clinch a championship, and this bit them hard. I’ll admit, if the wing could have stayed on for a few laps then they could have easily been on the podium, rather than guarantee a mid points finish.
In the past, you really had to take victories to haul yourself into contention. 2003 showed the future somewhat in that Raikkonen was consistently on the podium, and was in the end unlucky not to take the title – I feel Montoya would have edged it if not for more retirements than him and MSc.