After several months of scandals and politics dominating grand prix weekends, Suzuka saw a return to a more traditional topic of Formula 1 conversation: driver market speculation.
The long-awaited confirmation of Fernando Alonso's Ferrari move on the eve of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend kickstarted the silly season, and meant the future plans of Kimi Raikkonen, Robert Kubica and Toyota in particular were at the centre of the news at Suzuka.
On track, when the rain and red flags abated, it was Sebastian Vettel who came through to utterly dominate for Red Bull - and revive his title hopes in the process, although Jenson Button remains an overwhelming championship favourite after another tenacious points salvaging exercise.
The best action of the weekend came from the British Touring Car Championship finale at Brands Hatch, where title outsider Jason Plato did everything he could by winning all three epic races, but Colin Turkington managed to wrap up his first crown.
MotoGP and the World Rally Championship delivered possibly their least exciting events of the season in Portugal and Spain, but the results were hugely significant for the title contests.
Jorge Lorenzo's commanding win at Estoril keeps Valentino Rossi under pressure in the championship with three races still to go, while Mikko Hirvonen's lead over Sebastien Loeb is down to just one point heading for the Rally GB decider after Ford failed to stop Citroen running away with the Rally Catalunya.
The F1 sessions
The F1 headlines
The motorsport action