Don't double diffuser arguments seem like a long time ago now?
When was the last time we spoke about budget caps?
Remember how the paddock seemed such a poisonous place over the summer as threats of a breakaway championship briefly materialised?
And who will forget the craziness of that Monza weekend when the reality of Renault's race-fixing affair hit us all square in the face?
The press crowd around an item of interest at Suzuka © XPB
We still have one race to go in this most amazing of world championship seasons, but collapsing into my seat on the plane home from Sao Paulo I could not help but have a smile on my face that the main topic on everyone's tongues is what this is all about: the racing.
There have been some pretty bleak times this year when it felt like Formula 1 was doing all it could to shoot itself in the foot. The battle to mould a secure future for the sport between the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) and FIA president Max Mosley only served to make things bleaker, not better, and many voiced fears that we had passed the point of no return.
Indeed, when the text updates from that Thursday night pre-British Grand Prix team principals' meetings at Renault's Enstone factory made it clear that things were indeed bad - and the breakaway was going to happen - it was hard to believe we would be able to pull ourselves back from the brink.
Yet, F1 has this remarkable ability to get things done. Just as teams can toil away tirelessly to solve car problems swiftly and bring on improvement after improvement onto their cars, so too can the political situations get melted away just as quickly as they flare up.
We came through the summer politics quickly and, although things looked bad again in light of the Singapore Grand Prix 2008 controversy, even that got quickly pushed aside as the focus shifted back to the world championship campaign.
Indeed, since the Renault WMSC case in Paris arrived and disappeared, most of the talk in the paddock has been on the world championship fight. And there is almost a sense that it all crept up rather quietly on us while our focus was on the other political stuff.
One minute we were in Singapore not paying much attention to the title battle - when suddenly we head over to Japan and realise Button is actually on the verge of doing it.
Then came his Saturday Suzuka dramas: the yellow flag dramas prompting memories of Jacques Villeneuve getting that penalty back in 1997 which helped take the world title all the way to the final round in Jerez.
Button bounced back from this lowly grid spot in Suzuka to limit the damage to his points lead - and suddenly, rather than the ball being in his court to do what was needed to win the title, it was now up to his rivals to stop him clinching it.
That shift in focus - the fact the pressure was on Rubens Barrichello and Sebastian Vettel to score the points they needed to take the fight to Abu Dhabi - seemed to unlock something within Button's psyche.
Observe him up close in the build-up to Brazil and he was more relaxed than he had been since that awesome start to the season. No nerves, no foreboding fear and a man at ease with the job he needed to do.
Of course, the world crashed down around him on Saturday when he got caught out in the atrocious conditions at Interlagos and failed to make it out of Q2 - while team-mate Barrichello put it on pole. It was no surprise then, after feeling he had finally wrested control of the situation, that Button said he felt sick at the turn of events.
Jenson Button overtakes Kazuki Nakajima as he works his way through the field © LAT
But as has so often been the case this season, Button turned a poor Saturday into a great Sunday. He did not sit back and simply hope that his rivals hit trouble - he went out there and did it for himself.
And that was vital for him. A lot of people agreed that if Button had won the title by limping home in 12th spot with his rivals tripping up, it would have only served to increase suggestions that the Briton had backed into his title.
Instead, Button went out there and won it for himself. Vettel and Barrichello did not do what they needed to do - while Button did. And that was why there were so many happy faces in Interlagos. The right man had won in the right way - and for that we all were glad.
And when it comes to moving on from this season, Button will try and work out how the momentum of the first seven races trailed away - and he will then go out and make sure that cannot happen again.
Team boss Ross Brawn was one in no doubt that Button's experience this year will make him better prepared for going out there and doing it again in 2010.
"He went home destroyed on Saturday and came back on Sunday morning determined to put it right," he said. "He doesn't blame people; he is part of a team, which is great.
"There is a frothy outside but there is a steel core to it, which he has demonstrated. This will be a fantastic experience for him and I will expect to have a much stronger driver in the future."
It's nice to talk about racing, isn't it?
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