To paraphrase the nursery rhyme, there are now five-and-twenty days to the new Concorde. Or not, as now seems highly likely.
The present ten-year tripartite agreement, which had effectively - in all senses of the word - bound together Formula One's role players since late-August 1998, expires on 31 December, and with it all technical, sporting and commercial obligations outlined in its 120-plus pages legally cease to exist.
For the best part of five years, the three primary parties - the sport's governing body, the FIA; the commercial rights' holder, Formula One Management; and the team collective - had attempted to bash a new deal into place, one which plays to their individual interests while satisfying the EU law-makers in Brussels, and have, certainly on the surface, failed dismally in the task of redefining Formula One's future.
But have they? Or could there be another mechanism at play, which spells the end of the very document that is perceived as fundamental to the running of the sport?