For 364 days a year, if you were to throw a bunch of the motorsport community together at any location in the world, the visors would come down, the intense heat of competition would envelope everything - and that intense desire for each and every individual to achieve victory would take over. Enter seriousness, and enter politics.
Yet there's one night a year when that competitive friction is allowed to cool a little. It's the guards that come down and people come together to celebrate just one thing: the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the season just passed.
Since its early days as a small event at the Kensington Roof Gardens in 1988, the AUTOSPORT Awards dinner has grown into motor racing's equivalent of the Oscars - and the great and the good from the sport have continued to grace us with their presence.
And if you want an example of just how important the event has become - both as an occasion and as a chance for the stars to let their hair down - then you only need to look at Sebastian Vettel.