It was once said that experience is the worst kind of teacher. It hands out its test before it starts giving you any lessons.
But, after what could well have been a defining race in title terms in Spa last weekend, it seems that those men willing to stick it out with the pesky teacher for those lessons are now reaping the rewards.
The big question on everyone's lips - with six races remaining - is whether, after failing his exam in Belgium, we will find Sebastian Vettel working hard in the classroom or enjoying a can of Red Bull or two outside the school gates with his mates.
Vettel's season has been one of blinding speed and amazing frustrations. It is not hard to imagine with a bit of luck that he would be well on course to his maiden world title this year. A different spark plug in Bahrain, a tweaked wheel nut in Australia, a different line into the first corner in Britain and a working radio in Hungary could have made all the difference to his season.