Thanks to another beautifully judged drive in changeable conditions, Jenson Button found himself in the world championship lead by the end of an absorbing, action-packed Chinese Grand Prix.
The spectacular racing helped take the paddock's mind off the challenge ahead - as the Formula 1 fraternity pondered how they would get back from China amid the air travel crisis in Europe, and whether their preparations for the Spanish GP would be affected.
By the end of the weekend, the volcano in Iceland was the main talking point, though earlier the big news in the paddock had been the drivers' debates over weaving in the wake of incidents in Malaysia, and issues over F1 2011, with Bernie Ecclestone promising a record-breaking 20-race schedule, Cooper Avon entering the race to replace Bridgestone, and big names Lola and Prodrive ruling themselves out of bids for the 13th slot in the pitlane.
Away from F1, Sebastien Loeb stretched his World Rally Championship lead with a third straight win, this time in Turkey, and a new world series commenced in Abu Dhabi, where F1 reject Romain Grosjean was the sensation of the FIA GT1 World Championship opener.
Formula 2 and Formula Renault 3.5 both kicked off, with wins for Jolyon Palmer and Phillip Eng in F2, and Mikhail Aleshin and Sten Pentus in the Renault category.
In America, Ryan Hunter-Reay ended his and Andretti Autosport's win drought in Long Beach, but NASCAR remains on hold until Monday afternoon due to rain at Texas Motor Speedway.
The F1 sessions
The F1 headlines
The motorsport action