As quickly as V8 F1 car flying down the back straight, the 2017 Formula One season came to an end in the UAE desert on Sunday, with Valtteri Bottas securing a much-needed win and World Champion Lewis Hamilton coming home in P2.
It was 'only' the Silver Arrows' fourth 1-2 of the season; we say 'only' because it is a pale shadow of the dominance they've enjoyed over the past three season (9 and 12 1-2's respectively). That is a testament to Ferrari's resurgence this year. For the first time in almost half a decade, the Scuderia had a sustained and viable shot at the Driver's Title, only for poor form and terrible luck during the second half of the season to scupper their chances.
In an otherwise uneventful season finale (Carlos Sainz's ill-fated pit stop and flailing tyre was perhaps the most exciting moment), Bottas picked up a third win of his career (all coming at Mercedes this season) to prove the critics wrong and prove he has the pace to upset his team-mate Hamilton.
Yes, Lewis Hamilton is admittedly in 'party-mode', he's admitted as much during the post-race media chats, but that doesn't take away the fact that Bottas was quicker than the Briton on Sunday. Next year, Mercedes are anticipating an even stronger Ferrari challenge and so Bottas needs to step up even more to defend their constructors' title.
Going back to Hamilton's end of season dip, this isn't the first time the Briton has taken it easy during the closing races having won a world title. The last time round, in 2015, it hugely backfired on him. His lax performances allowed Nico Rosberg to end the season with three consecutive wins, form he took into the start of his 2016 title-winning season.
Hamilton has assured his team and media that it won't happen next year. He insists he'll return in the new year with the same drive and determination he showed in the second half of this year.
With the introduction of the halo for next season, this is perhaps the last time we admire the beauty of F1 cars. Expect the 2018 season to begin in March next year with a firestorm of criticism and bewilderment at the new safety features.