Lewis Hamilton's expected title win did not quite come to pass at the United States Grand Prix and so the post-race focus was instead on two veterans of Formula One.
There were contrasting fortunes for former world champions aged 39 and 37 respectively in Austin. Kimi Raikkonen stormed to victory, while Fernando Alonso failed to complete the first lap.
As Raikkonen celebrated his first race win since 2013, Alonso, wiped out by Lance Stroll at Turn 4, grumbled about the driving of his younger rivals.
"These guys are impossible to race with," the irate Spaniard told his team radio, before adding to the media: "There are more amateurs here than in the other series."
The closing weeks of Alonso's season will not befit a glorious career, but Sunday's events were hardly out of place with the rest of the year. The two-time champion has again lagged behind with McLaren, who lack the tools to compete with those he once dominated.
Disappointed race. Only 600 meters before getting hit from behind. Watching now the replays not much anyone could do, too many cars together into T4 . Just that. Just unlucky today. Now focus, preparation, and let’s hope this brings a nice result in Mexico next week.— Fernando Alonso (@alo_oficial) October 21, 2018
If nothing else, Alonso's struggles ahead of what is likely his last season in F1, having already confirmed he will not race in the sport in 2019, should offer a stark warning to Raikkonen, who has proved an ideal foil for Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari.
The Finn may have endured a stretch of 111 races without a win prior to the weekend's triumph, but he is third in the standings and made the podium for the 10th time this year in Austin.
Raikkonen will finish the campaign in competitive shape, yet it is his future plans that provide some concern. A return to Sauber, while offering an emotional tug, is unlikely to see one of the sport's modern stars go out on top.
"Proving some people wrong is enough fun for me," Raikkonen said after winning in Texas.
He added: "I think people don't understand I'm actually very happy with where I'm going [Sauber].
"I had my time with Ferrari, I won my championship with them, I won many races with them and, for me, as a driver, I want different challenges, I want different things. I'm actually really happy to go there.
"It's roughly 40 minutes from my home, for sure my family will be happy and I'm happy to be with my family. I think it's probably the best thing and I wasn't at any point disappointed with the decision."
Alonso similarly left Ferrari on his own terms, though, and it has not made the subsequent years any less frustrating as he has muddled around the middle of the F1 standings, punished for the latest in a series of questionable career moves.
Raikkonen has already quit F1 once after an uncompetitive season in 2009 and surely would not enjoy similar toils regardless of the location of Sauber's team base.
Indeed, as he spends a week reflecting on a race win for perhaps the final time, the Iceman could be excused for wondering if he should have joined Alonso in walking away from F1.
|Ismaily kicked out of CAF Champions League after fans throw stones, bottles|
|England star Itoje pens new Saracens deal|
|Palace keeper Hennessey charged over Instagram post|
|Chelsea warn supporters over anti-Semitic chanting ahead of Tottenham EFL Cup tie|
|Joshua primed to make call on next opponent|
|Super Bowl LIII: Brady v Goff|
|Sala search suspended as Cardiff chairman confirms club wanted different travel arrangements|
|Cruyff, Koeman, Kluivert - De Jong following pantheon of Dutch Barca greats|
|Sarfraz apologises for comments picked up by stump mic|
|Djokovic: Pouille deserves top-10 spot|
|Hazard must be more demanding if he wants to leave Chelsea, says Ballack|
|Celtics´ Kyrie Irving to sit out Cavs game with flu-like symptoms|
|Barcelona seal €86m De Jong deal|
|Vietnam v Japan: Moriyasu happy to keep doing just enough|
|Hendricks, De Kock and Steyn join up with Proteas squad|
|Lorenzo excited for ´new level´ at Repsol Honda|
|Fernando replaces injured Pradeep in Sri Lanka squad|
|China v Iran: Queiroz wants to exorcise 2015 quarter-final|
|Balotelli joins Marseille until the end of the season|
|Emery gives Monchi ringing endorsement amid Arsenal sporting director links|
|Larry Fitzgerald returning to Cardinals on one-year deal|
|Watson absence ´an opportunity´ for Scotland hopefuls, says Townsend|
|Pochettino open to new signings but Janssen to remain a Spurs outcast|
|´No trace´ of aircraft so far in Sala search|
|Pochettino will not judge Sarri for criticising Chelsea players|
|From front row to four in a row - Best takes on Farrell at Connect 4|
|Hazard an individual, not a leader - Sarri urges Chelsea star to do more|
|Broad left out of England team for first Test|
|Higuain set to sign for Chelsea but won´t face Tottenham – Sarri|
|McGillvary injury blow for Giants|
|Solari praises Marcelo amid exit rumours|
|A-League Review: Joy and pain for De Jong as Sydney close gap|
|Halfpenny, Davies and Williams set to miss France clash|
|India to rest Kohli from back end of New Zealand tour|
|The hand is good - Farrell expects to be fit to face Ireland|
|Martinez leaves Arsenal for Reading loan|
|Beckham becomes Salford City shareholder|
|Maradona hopes Sala will be found alive|
|Djokovic will not discuss potential Nadal showdown yet|
|A Federer-Nadal double? Even historic scalps may not be enough for Tsitsipas|
|Raonic to assess knee injury, hopes to avoid surgery|
|Barcelona right to fine ´complicated´ Dembele, says Ter Stegen|
|Higuain and Piatek on the move on busy day for Milan|
|Philippe and Vince humble the Hurricanes|
|Nishikori: I couldn´t beat anybody on one leg|
|Boateng poised for debut as Barcelona axe Suarez|
|Shami sets record in crushing win after sun stops play|
|Sala search focused on possible use of life raft|
|Pouille exceeds own expectations with run to Aus Open semis|
|Nishikori retirement sees Djokovic through to semi-finals|
|A golden boy, a guy you want to love - Delecroix pays emotional tribute to Sala|
|Richardson, Patterson to make Australia debuts against Sri Lanka|
|Police resume search for missing Sala plane|
|Pouille upsets Raonic to reach Australian Open semis|
|Dunk sees Stars past Strikers|
|How Serena gave up 5-1 lead – the key moments of loss to Pliskova|
|Pliskova enjoys ´best comeback´ after stunning Serena|
|Serena not blaming ankle injury for Australian Open loss|
|Mavericks capitalise on Clippers´ turnovers, pick up win in Smith´s return|
|Pliskova saves four match points to stun Serena with comeback win|
|Anthony ´can only make´ a team better, says Iverson|
|Henry more worried about Monaco´s future than his own|
|Osaka powers past Svitolina in Melbourne|
|Harden on Anthony trade: It kind of sucks that it didn´t work out|
|Redskins remain ´optimistic´ QB Alex Smith will play again|
|Patriots coach Belichick says Rams´ Donald is ´pretty much unblockable´|
|PSG fined €100,000 by LFP over player-recruitment practices|
|I´m not his father - Guardiola demands Mendy matures|
|Sykes record in vain as Banvit claim victory|
|Usain Bolt calls time on football career|