The early descent of Saturday evening's dusk brings a blanket of calm down upon the Sakhir paddock. The Bahraini nights are swept into darkness as early as 6pm, when the circuit's lofty floodlights bathe the paddock in an ethereal pink glow.
Pre-race engineering meetings are in full swing, and the layout of the Sakhir paddock - with its brightly lit, large-windowed offices - gives you the perfect opportunity to peek inside at an F1 activity all too often concealed behind the doors of team transporters.
Backlit by harsh strip lights, you see tables strewn with laptops and paperwork. At each screen sits a bolt-upright engineer and, just occasionally, a driver busily devouring every last scrap of data. This is the life of a modern Formula 1 driver.
Down at McLaren, a casually attired Fernando Alonso is working the tables. The little Spaniard looks like the boss here, striding from screen to screen with a furrowed brow, talking to engineers, conferring earnestly with test driver Pedro de la Rosa.
You're clearly reminded of a racing driver's workload; how natural talent alone is no longer sufficient to sustain a top-level career in F1. It might be the basic entry-level requirement but, unless it's properly harnessed to similarly high levels of hard work and commitment, then it invariably won't be enough to propel you to the very top.
And we're not talking about simply putting in the hours here, we're talking about matching 'natural ability' with the capacity to take a committed, broad-minded approach to the job: 'natural application', let's call it.
You certainly see the spark in Alonso, who has adopted the mantle of F1's most complete driver by dint of his ability to not only match speed and consistency, but also prove himself capable of leading and guiding a team through high and low times. That's a talent that no amount of raw 'hard work' can muster - it has to be as innate, unfettered and uncomplicated as that ability to combine throttle, brakes and steering so sublimely.
It does make you wonder how Kimi Raikkonen manages to work his magic so effortlessly. The exception that proves the rule, the Finn can invariably be seen ambling out of the paddock at 5pm with his rucksack on his back and wife Jenni on his arm. Not for him the endless munching of data.
While Kimi is nowhere to be seen in the Bahrain twilight, Alonso pokes his head out of the McLaren engineering meeting, wanders over to manager Luis Garcia and shares a light-hearted conversation in the darkness.
Both Spaniards smile easily, happy to be free from the unflinching glare of a media that both no doubt feel are probing keenly for Alonso's every weakness.
Alonso has looked a little isolated at McLaren recently. At Renault, where he was rightly regarded as the team's hero, he happily gelled with its louder, more relaxed approach.
At McLaren the world champion still looks rather ill at ease, circumspect, guarded.
These are crazy, exhilarating times for Formula 1 right now. But hidden beneath the Hamilton frenzy, that has gripped the paddock and shaken the entire sport, lies a humble and dignified world champion probably questioning not only his position within the team but also the very abilities that took him to those two world titles.
For a deep thinker like Alonso, the twin burdens of fighting for the title and battling for supremacy within his own team must be causing insufferable pain. But that briefest flash of a smile on Saturday evening told you that he still has a huge capacity for the fight.
We roll into the Spaniard's backyard next month with a title battle that is set to explode into a four-man contest for world supremacy. And Barcelona should give us our first sight of the real depths of our world champion.