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.
12. November 2018
|Rams WR Kupp out for season with torn ACL|
|Sturridge denies ever gambling on football following FA charge|
|Koeman understands De Ligt´s Eredivisie frustrations|
|Jimmy Butler trade: 76ers acquire Timberwolves star in blockbuster deal|
|´Improve your attitude´ - Deschamps issues Dembele warning|
|Sturridge charged with misconduct over alleged breach of betting rules|
|Saints sign Marshall following Bryant injury|
|Mendy suffers knee injury, leaves France squad with Lacazette|
|Zverev beats Cilic in error-strewn London battle|
|Rafinha replaces injured Casemiro in Brazil squad|
|´One-dimensional´ Australia batsmen need work before World Cup - Finch|
|Mancini keen to work with ´incredibly gifted´ Tonali|
|Italian manager of the year Allegri targets long Juve stay|
|Injured Lee departs as Wales prepare squad for Tonga|
|Conte content to wait until June for coaching return|
|Etzebeth set to return, Whiteley a doubt for Scotland Test|
|In-form Verstappen does not need distractions from 2019 challenge|
|FA asks Guardiola to explain Manchester derby referee comments|
|LaLiga MVP Messi hopes the division stays wide open|
|Murray and Henshaw out of All Blacks Test|
|Injured Man Utd duo Pogba and Martial drop out of France squad|
|Modric cannot always be the best - Dalic|
|Very troubling times - LeBron James alarmed by gun violence|
|Bayern confirm Ribery ´altercation´ with reporter|
|Madrid hit by injuries to Nacho and Casemiro|
|Record-breaking Mushfiqur torments Zimbabwe|
|Spartak Moscow appoint Oleg Kononov|
|Rooney predicts ´exciting time´ after being named in MLS Best XI|
|Former England call-up Graham replaces Thomson in Scotland squad|
|Slater and Thurston among Queensland greats to join Maroons staff|
|Rapana set for six months out after shoulder surgery|
|Alves determined to play in the Premier League|
|Rockets GM denies Anthony will be waived|
|Monaco´s plight not Henry´s fault - Silva|
|It´s like the FBI came - River assistant unable to talk to Gallardo during final|
|Norman says Washington home crowds ´just don´t really care´|
|Bucks beat Nuggets to finish gruelling schedule stretch|
|Madrid ´very happy´ with Solari, says Butragueno|
|Titans stun Patriots, Browns upset Falcons|
|Browns´ Chubb relishes record-breaking performance: It definitely is very special|
|MLS Review: Red Bulls, Atlanta to meet in conference finals|
|Neymar wants more from perfect PSG|
|Higuain is feeling a lot of pressure – Gattuso|
|I didn´t insult anyone, says apologetic Higuain|
|Allegri delighted with Juventus response|
|Kyle Busch wins at Phoenix as Harvick, Truex qualify for Championship 4|
|WATCH: Highlights of thrilling Boca-River Copa Libertadores final|
|PSG coach Tuchel demands more despite Monaco thrashing|
|Boca missed too many chances, rues Schelotto|
|Solari remains tight-lipped on Real Madrid future|
|Hamilton not surprised by Verstappen-Ocon collision|
11. November 2018
|Ronaldo fires Juventus to Serie A record|
|Higuain did nothing serious - Ronaldo hopes Milan striker avoids ban|
|Solari completes perfect Real Madrid audition with fourth straight win|
|Verstappen ordered to do public service after Ocon scuffle|
|Nishikori stuns out-of-sorts Federer|
|Fitzgerald overtakes Owens in career receiving yards|
|Monaco 0 Paris Saint-Germain 4: Cavani hat-trick adds to Henry woes|
|Celta Vigo 2 Real Madrid 4: Solari leads Los Blancos to fourth straight win|
|AC Milan 0 Juventus 2: Higuain sent off in horror show|
|Brees leapfrogs Favre on all-time list for touchdown passes|
|Kuchar holds on to seal first title since 2014|
|Nuno proud of Wolves display at Arsenal|
|Jones fastest in NFL to reach 10,000 receiving yards|
|WATCH: Verstappen shoves Ocon after Brazilian Grand Prix collision|
|Boca Juniors 2 River Plate 2: Izquierdoz own goal ensures first leg ends level|
|Australia will be a different ball game, warns Rohit|
|We´re not going to be relegated – Mourinho at ease over United being eighth|
|Mahomes breaks Chiefs´ single-season TD record|
|Toronto Wolfpack name McDermott as head coach|