Ferrari has openly talked in the past about a symbolic burying of its KERS unit after the season-finale in Abu Dhabi - so fed up has it been with the cost and effort of using the technology - but there was little doubt at Spa last weekend about how crucial it had been for the Maranello outfit.
Were it not for Kimi Raikkonen's quick blast of KERS after the safety car restart early in the race, there was every chance it would have been Force India and not Ferrari celebrating the victory on Sunday evening.
Kimi Raikkonen uses KERS to overtake Robert Kubica on the opening lap of the Belgian Grand Prix © LAT
As this strange world championship enters its final phase, with it possible that the title-leading cars will be reduced to bit-part players in the remaining races, KERS is going to become ever more important for those outfits able to run it.
In fact, as we begin to cast our thoughts forward to Monza, everything points towards the fight for victory there being fought out exclusively by cars fitted with KERS. In qualifying it could be worth around six tenths of a second - thanks to the blast out of Parabolica before the timed lap, which will boost speed across the start/finish line.
So expect KERS cars bang at, or near, the front of the grid. And expect them to be clear and gone by the time the cars brake for the tight first chicane shortly after those red lights go out on Sunday afternoon.
Ahead of what looks like another good weekend for KERS then, and on the back of what we saw in Hungary with Lewis Hamilton and at Spa with Raikkonen, it is not hard to come to the conclusion that F1 is missing a trick in ditching KERS.
F1 can be a terribly fickle business at times, and if engineers or teams cannot find quick success with what is in front of them, then very often they go look elsewhere. And so it was with KERS.
Those teams that did not invest time and millions of pounds in the technology at the start of the season were able to devote more of their focus to aerodynamic development - and so started the year in better shape.
The KERS teams (who had also not gone down the double-diffuser route) were on the back foot from the start and, struggling to get pace in their car, it was easier to blame the KERS and its impact on handling/car design than to stick with trying to improve the technology.
That was why Renault and BMW Sauber ditched it early on, and why those teams that did not run it have all stalled at introducing it. By the time it came for FOTA to vote on the future of the technology, there were too few sticking up for it.
So the tragedy for KERS was that it was effectively consigned to the rubbish bin before its true potential could be shown. For, once teams like McLaren and Ferrari got nearer the sharp end of the grid, the advantages of the energy recovery devices was clear to see.
At the Nurburgring, Lewis Hamilton and his KERS would have been away in the lead had he not been tagged by Mark Webber. Then, at the Hungaroring, KERS came into its own as it helped Hamilton fire himself away at the start and then later, much to Red Bull Racing's frustrations, get past Mark Webber at a track where overtaking has been near impossible in the past.
In Valencia, KERS helped McLaren again, overcoming the car's aerodynamic deficiencies to challenge for victory, before Ferrari benefited the most from the technology at Spa.
The McLaren KERS unit © XPB
We are now seeing it play a hugely influential role in the outcome of qualifying and races, especially at the start - and that can only be a good thing for the spectators.
Yet the reasons for using KERS go above and beyond simply spicing the show up. In Valencia I was lucky enough to be one of a few journalists who was given the chance to see the McLaren-Mercedes KERS unit close up.
On hand to show us the secrets was Andy Cowell, the engineering and programme director of Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines.
Cowell has been left under no illusions about how fast KERS technology has moved on in the two-and-a-half years that his men have been working on it. As an example, just look at how much the weight of its KERS has come down.
"We are under 25kg for the total system now," he explained. "We are at about 5.5kg for the motor, all the wires weigh about 1.5kg, power electronics is just over 3.5kg and the battery pack makes up the rest.
"In terms of evolution - our very first system weighed over 100kg. The mule car system that we ran last summer weighed about 37kg and we took the step down at the start of the season where we were just over 25kg. Now we are just under 25kg because we've done a little bit more development."
Cowell predicts that if KERS was carrying on in F1 next year, then a further two or three kilogrammes could be shaved off - putting it well into the realm where it becomes a proper advantage for racing at all tracks. It is that knowledge of weight saving that is proving beneficial for road cars.
"We had some tough internal targets on weight," said Cowell. "My personal target was to be 25 point something kilogrammes for the first race.
"We knew that if we as a team of people working on the engine managed that, then we would be racing with it. If we hadn't got down to that target, we could have the dispiriting experience of doing all the work, not being quite good enough and not going racing - which is completely different to anything we have ever experienced in the power train area. So I was quite tough setting those targets. And thankfully, all bar one experiment at Silverstone, we have raced it.
"One of the things we have pushed since the start of the season is to get the life up. The battery packs we use in racing, we do two races with them - so they are not one race and throw away.
"In testing internally we have pushed the mileage up - one development pack has 5000km on it. So in terms of it being throw away technology, we don't believe it is. It just takes desire to push the power of the energy storage first, and then the life."
This greater understanding of the technology and its limits are exactly the sort of areas that can trickle back into the road car industry - which was the original aim of introducing KERS anyway. Cowell says the initial process of asking Daimler's road car division for advice has now turned the other way.
McLaren KERS warning light © XPB
"We spent a lot of time talking with what the road car guys were doing on hybrid technology - a lot of their experience went into the motor design, went in to the control and the batteries.
"The reverse is now happening. We went running off for Melbourne this year to have the target of 25 point something kilogrammes and to be very efficient. We are now feeding that learn back.
"In terms of the learning on the cells, every road car needs to be lighter, and it is accelerating that. The control of those cells, the management, we took the Daimler management system, we evolved it to what we needed and there are some algorhythms for managing that that are now getting fed back. Will we see that exact components on a road car? No, we won't, but the knowledge will definitely be there."
Whatever the benefits for the racing and the road car industry, and Williams' attempts to keep it in the regulations, KERS will still almost certainly be gone from F1 at the end of this season. Cowell believes its absence will only be temporary though.
"At the moment the speculation is that there will be a new powertrain in 2013, and there is a very firm intent to have a KERS type system in there," he says. "There are 42 months until the first race of 2013 - and that is not long in terms of development of systems.
"We will keep people doing R&D within Daimler. If F1 puts new regulations out then that group will be well prepared, so they will focus on road cars for a bit and then come back. It is quite a nice transfer. If we steer the regulations that way in the future it will be great."
So with the KERS goodbye countdown on, we should all enjoy the intrigue caused by the final few races for KERS while we can. And then pray that the technology comes back to F1 soon.
Maybe even Ferrari would agree right now.
To continue reading this feature, join Autosport Plus today.
Are you an Autosport magazine subscriber? Activate your online account
- Your Autosport Plus membership includes:
- Unlimited access to Autosport's news - no monthly cap.
- Read the best motorsport features, analysis and opinion.
- Explore Forix, our comprehensive motorsport stats database.
- Choose from a monthly or yearly membership.