Here is what I wrote in a parallel universe after the Australian Grand Prix...
Honda Racing team principal Ross Brawn knew from the moment his new Honda RA109 hit the track at Portimao in early January that his team needed to show something for having written off the 2008 season.
Jenson Button prepares for the first test of the year © LAT
Brawn had been open that development work on the team's RA108 was abandoned early because it was vital the team made the most of its potential in 2009.
And so it was that Honda threw all it could at the effort to ensure that Brawn's promise of a step forward could be fulfilled. Up to four wind tunnels were utilised, there was a mammoth effort with CFD and Brawn began the restructuring process that was needed to get Honda back to the front of the grid.
The winter had not been easy. When he and team CEO Nick Fry were called to a meeting with Honda executives at Heathrow in late November, there had been rumours the Japanese car company was poised to pull the plug on its Formula 1 operations.
Instead, it wanted to implement a number of cost cuts to help ease the financial burden the team was having on Honda Motor Company. Results were also becoming vital - and a win in the near future essential.
Honda would not be disappointed with the look of its new F1 car though. The RA109 was beautiful.
Sponsored by Emirates Airlines (Honda had abandoned its Earth Dreams concept), the red and white machine featured a beautiful sculpted front wing, wonderfully tight and refined bodywork - and, of much interest to other teams, a unique double-decker diffuser.
When Jenson Button topped the times with ease during that first test, rival teams were left in little doubt that they had to rapidly revise their development plans and wake up to the fact that they were months behind the Honda team in terms of unlocking the potential of the 2009 cars.
One senior engineer at a rival team said: "We're just so thankful we found out where Ross Brawn's car was in January - as it gives us two months to ramp up our efforts and bring along a car that can match it.
"Can you imagine what would have happened if we had not known where this team was at until just a few weeks before the start of the season? There would have been no chance to respond - which would have been a disaster with the testing ban now in place."
While rival teams set about speeding up the development push on their cars, the diffuser issue also got as far as an FIA International Court of Appeal hearing in Paris in early March.
Ross Brawn and Patrick Head at Melbourne © XPB
A row over the legality of the double-decker design (also adopted by Williams and Toyota) could not be resolved without an official FIA hearing. In the end, the governing body ruled that the designs were wholly within the regulations - and by the time the teams arrived in Melbourne, everyone was running with them.
The early running of the Honda car had played into the hands of the rivals.
The team source, quoted earlier, added: "We were not just thankful for having seen where Honda had got to - but seeing what it had done with the diffuser so soon was vital too.
"Again, if this car had turned up on the eve of the campaign, there was no way we would have been able to copy it and run our own system. Luckily, we could adopt our own and wipe out any advantage they had from it."
Those factors meant that by the time the teams arrived in Melbourne, the rate of development at other teams had been such that the Honda car was no longer the pace-setter. The target had been laid out and rivals had matched it.
Even so, Honda's drivers Jenson Button and Bruno Senna (who beat Rubens Barrichello to the second seat on the back of a major Telmex sponsorship deal), were still comfortably among the front-runners all weekend.
And, when Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel collided in their fight for the lead just a few laps from home, with Jarno Trulli being robbed of victory by a post-race stewards decision about overtaking under the safety car, Button took a well-earned top three place to show that Honda had indeed made a step forward after the disaster of 2008.
But Brawn was not satisfied with just a podium finish for Honda in Australia. He had wanted more - and sources suggest privately he believed that Honda should have been able to win the race.
He especially thought that the characteristics of the Honda engine were still holding the team back. There had been the dispensation of 'engine equalisation' over the winter to bring the power of the Honda engine up a fair whack to match the likes of Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari, but still there were issues with the cooling requirements (which affected aerodynamics) and driveability.
The The Mercedes-Benz FO108 engine © XPB
His view was backed by a source within the team, who demanded anonymity. "With the right engine, we are convinced this car is a winner."
In fact, there were some at the outfit adamant that if the winter had played out better for them, then they should have won Melbourne.
They reckon that if the car had been launched later, rival teams would not have had the chance to respond to where it was - giving Brawn's men the advantage it had in early testing for the first races of the season.
Plus, there would have been no chance for the team's diffuser design to become accepted as the norm. Again, this would have given them a slight edge when it came to delivering speed in Melbourne.
Then, of course, there was the engine. Data calculations provided by a team insider suggest that if Honda actually had a Mercedes-Benz engine, the team would have been much faster - because the engine would have had more power and better driveability.
"I reckon there was every chance we should have won Melbourne - in fact, we could have been 1-2," said a Honda Racing figure.
Isn't it amazing how some people in F1 are just so disillusioned?
A 1-2 finish in Australia ahead of the reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton? No way. They will be saying that Richard Branson wants to come to F1 next!