This weekend's Formula One circus stopped in Malaysia, where hot and humid conditions were soon blown away by torrential rain and red flags.
After Saturday's qualification, McLaren threatened dominance with Lewis Hamilton once again displaying the sort of blistering one-lap speed which fast gained him a reputation as a qualification specialist. However that was all set to change come Sunday when the heavens opened and the gazebos were erected.
It all made for perhaps the most entertaining race we will see this season, with Fernando Alonso miraculously grabbing the race win and a number of midfield drivers showing their worth in difficult conditions.
Below are just a handful of key points from the weekend.
Sergio Im-Perez-es For Sauber
In a week where the young Mexican has been linked with a move to Ferrari to replace the struggling Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez showed that he is more than just a pay driver. If this was an audition, the young driver seemingly passed it with flying colours, as he ruthlessly hunted down Fernando Alonso. He may have even overtaken the Spaniard and claimed his maiden victory, but for a slight touch of inexperience in the later stages of the race. Overall it was a drive which not only showed that Perez has what it takes to progress in Formula One, but that Sauber are indeed taking massive steps forward as the look to break away from the midfield pack.
Alonso's Victory Was Spectacular, But It Papers Over Some Pretty Big Cracks
Everyone had written them off as title contenders. Even their own drivers had doubts for the season. However, in Malaysia, Fernando Alonso masterminded a pretty spectacular victory given myriad issues facing Ferrari this season. In claiming victory at Sepang, Alonso became the first driver to qualify outside of the top seven and go on to win at the circuit.
No-one expected victory, including Alonso himself, who admitted that the Scuderia were looking to scrape together as many points as possible in the early races. Twenty-five points must have seemed a dream for Alonso and more importantly Stefano Domenicali, who looked like a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders after the Spaniard qualified eighth on Saturday. The team no doubt enjoyed their victory last night, but it only papers over some pretty major cracks. Rain aside, the car was horribly uncompetitive again and Felipe Massa's dismal showing only highlighted that even with a new chassis this is a dog to drive.
Rain, Rain Come Again, But Not Too Often
A number of months ago, Bernie Ecclestone mooted the idea of introducing sprinklers to Formula One, much to the bemusement of the paddock. Spectators love wet conditions, perhaps not so surprisingly drivers don't.
Most of the races this season will be bone dry, with the pole-sitters romping away to victory without too much hassle. The torrential rain in Malaysia was a timely reminder that racing can be unpredictable, even if the entire field expected wet conditions.
While Ecclestone's idea smacked as nothing more than a gimmick, he was correct in his assertion that sometimes F1 needs a bit of added spice, but not all the time. The rain at Sepang was enjoyable, as it was at last season's Canadian Grand Prix, but we don't need it for every race.
Backmarkers Can Be A Good Thing
Sometimes, as a viewer, you do wonder why certain teams even bother getting involved in Formula One. For years we've seen teams enter the sport on minuscule budgets, loiter around the back of the grid for a couple of seasons and then vanish into obscurity as a new manufacturer takes their place.
While this is by and large the situation for a number of minnows in the sport, sometimes you question whether F1 would be better off without them. As I decided, rightly or wrongly yesterday, the sport would be a less enjoyable place without the likes of HRT and Marussia.
Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel's respective collisions with Narain Karthikeyan added another dimension to already treacherous conditions and offered stark realisation that backmarkers were essentially obstacles. Let's be honest, HRT are never going to challenge for the lead, but they do present the front-runners with something to pass, sort of like a garden chair laying in the middle of the track. Yes, they may sometimes cut across another car's line, or compromise a team's race by accidentally tripping over their front wing, but without them there, where are the collisions?
Senna Shows Rain Is In The Genetics
How many times have we heard the surname Senna and rain included in the same sentence? The late Ayrton was an absolute master in the rain, thriving on it from Monaco to Brazil. And now his nephew Bruno was able to show exactly what he's made of in the wet stuff.
When Bruno was brought into Williams to replace the much loved Rubens Barrichello, it was decided that this was purely for financial benefit, but following on from his competent showing in Australia came an impressive drive in Malaysia. Sergio Perez's incredible drive eclipsed Senna's own achievement, but he, like the young Mexican showed that he was not just another pay driver.
Williams appear to be back and heading in the right direction, and if Bruno can continue to build on these performances, there's no reason why he can't achieve some serious points this season.