The rapturous applause that Lewis Hamilton received as he descended the Grosvenor House ballroom stairs to enter the AUTOSPORT Awards told you everything you needed to know about the identity of the 'real' heroes of Formula 1.
In a year when technology has been moved to the forefront, and manufacturers have been in raptures over hybrid relevance and fuel efficiency regulations, there is a simple truth that even they have to accept. The cars are not the stars. The drivers are.
The complex relationship between people and technology came into focus again later in the evening when legendary Formula 1 designer (and John Bolster Award winner) Gordon Murray offered a few of his thoughts on modern grand prix racing.