Formula 1's most enthralling title battle delivered a final twist in Abu Dhabi, as Mark Webber's disappointing qualifying and Fernando Alonso's unsuccessful strategy allowed Sebastian Vettel to come through and snatch the crown with another win.
The stunned and ecstatic new champion, the latest holder of the 'youngest ever' record, had not led the points all year, but hit the front when it really mattered.
Ferrari admitted that pitting Alonso early to cover off Webber's similar strategy had been a massive mistake, and like Webber and second-placed title long-shot Lewis Hamilton, Alonso vowed to come back even stronger in 2011.
Amid the tension of the title battle, there were a handful of other stories bubbling around the paddock. Virgin was confident that a major new partnership with Russian sportscar manufacturer Marussia would both secure its long-term future and move it up the grid, while doubts arose over the 2011 Australian Grand Prix amid a dispute over the event's organisation.
The World Rally Championship's World Rally Car era came to an end in Britain this weekend, and the old machinery was given a suitable send-off as Sebastien Loeb, Petter Solberg, Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala mounted a tough battle for victory, from which Loeb - perhaps inevitably - emerged on top.
Two months after champion Pastor Maldonado was crowned, GP2 resumed for a final blast in Abu Dhabi, and though the title-winner had little fun, his defeated rival Sergio Perez notched up another win before heading for F1 with Sauber. GP2 Asia champion Davide Valsecchi rounded off a disappointing main series season by winning the sprint race.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup title battle is more open than ever going into next weekend's Homestead finale. Carl Edwards won at Phoenix, but in the points Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick are still right on four-time champion Jimmie Johnson's tail.
The F1 sessions
Vettel leads first Abu Dhabi practice
Hamilton quickest in practice two
Vettel leads final practice in Abu Dhabi
Vettel takes crucial Abu Dhabi pole
Vettel wins championship and race
The F1 headlines
Russian car maker takes stake in Virgin
Lotus to return to black and gold livery
Alonso not thinking about Red Bull duo
Button and Hamilton to miss Pirelli test
Dispute threatens 2011 Australian GP
Schumacher stirred by title fight
Ferrari aiming to stay 'unemotional'
Vettel: Title just a bonus now
Title outcome still unknown says Webber
F1 popularity to surge after great season
Horner hails 'remarkable' Vettel
Vettel didn't realise he was set for title
Ferrari: Alonso strategy a team decision
Alonso: 2010 still a satisfying year
Hamilton promises stronger 2011
The motorsport action
WRC: Loeb clinches Rally GB victory
GP2: Perez dominates Abu Dhabi feature
GP2: Valsecchi claims first win in two years
NASCAR: Title battle tightens as Edwards wins
V8 Supercar: Lowndes wins Symmons race one
V8 Supercar: Winterbottom holds on to win race two