4.45am, Singapore, seven hours after the end of the race and still the air feels like that inside a greenhouse: very hot, very moist. Robert Kubica is slumped against one of the concrete blocks between Turns 4 and 5 which in a few hours will become once more Raffles Boulevard. He's just completed his customary post-race run.
Imagine: he's just done a grand prix in the most horribly muggy heat imaginable, coped with the safety car coming out at the wrong time, losing him a place, then his rear tyres giving up, no one yet properly understanding the heavily revised BMW's characteristics. Two hours of that slog. But that's not enough for him. Some rehydration, a debrief, a walk back to the hotel, a shower and a meal later - he goes out for a run! Now that is dedication, that is someone who means it.
That's someone waiting like a coiled spring to maximise a good car, to make the rest of the field dazed and confused as to which way he's gone.
Kubica is totally uninterested in all the peripheral crap around F1. He has a very simple ethos: he loves driving, loves doing what he's been genetically selected to do, the rest - the life you can have as an F1 star - leaves him cold. Give him a bit of downtime and he'll be on a special stage with a rally car. When he was asked by BMW what company car he'd like, they were nonplussed by his request of a Mitsubishi Evo! They'd assumed he'd understand it was a choice from the BMW range. He understood, of course, and it would have been followed up by the same lopsided grin he wore as he sat against that Singapore barrier at 4.45am. Both scenarios show where his priorities lie. At that very moment a significant proportion of the grid was partying in the Amber Lounge.
Fernando Alonso, newly confirmed as a 2010 Ferrari driver by the time we got to Japan, was asked who he thought Renault should select as his replacement. Fernando is a mischievous soul and says much more with his eyes when he replies to a tricky question than with his words, but this time he used both. "Robert Kubica," he said, grinning. "He's a good friend of mine and a very good driver. That's who I would choose." Knowing full well it was already being arranged, knowing we knew that he knew.
Kimi Raikkonen, freshly confirmed as to be leaving Ferrari a year short of his contract, walked into the team's motorhome at Suzuka on Thursday. He pulled the sunglasses from his face, looked around for any friendly faces. They all busied themselves doing something else. He turned on his heels and walked out. When later in the weekend he needed to get from the pitlane to the paddock, he didn't bother with the etiquette of walking through his own team's garage - he walked through McLaren's instead!
Seems Michael Schumacher is intent on coming back next year, that he wants to do two more seasons, just needs to get that pesky broken neck sorted out. He can't leave the drug alone, three years of cold turkey hasn't worked. Jacques Villeneuve was much in evidence around the Singapore paddock, in the same boat, looking for someone to give him the lifeline to that high, to cure the emptiness he's feeling now he's no longer in that intense little space behind the wheel, where wondrous things happen every now and then, where the chains ordinary life places upon you are momentarily cut amid the scream of an engine and the unfurling ribbon in front of you.
Felipe Massa had driven a kart in Brazil as the F1 circus moved between Singapore and Suzuka, the first stage of a comeback he is adamant is happening. The horror of an accident that came close to taking his life is irrelevant. He's coming back, intent on being in that Ferrari sooner rather than later - and he's full spirit, already denouncing crashgate as having cost him the championship, surely something partly directed at Alonso, with whom he has history.
The shade and light of the drivers' personalities are revealed as they position themselves for an ongoing supply of the drug.