After the shambolic mistakes committed by both of the 2008 title rivals, Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa, last weekend in Japan, it was a solid bet that one of them would revert to form and turn in a dominant display for Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix.
While Felipe Massa avoided major errors and raced quietly to a second position gifted by Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen late in the final stint, it was Hamilton who stepped up to the plate and took command of the championship. From the time that the cars rolled out for the first free practice session on Friday, the championship leader was peerless all weekend.
Lewis Hamilton leads the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa in Shanghai © McLaren
It might not have made for thrilling, or even mildly exciting racing, but for McLaren and Hamilton, it didn't need to be. If the teams and drivers ever feel an obligation to provide pitched wheel-to-wheel battling for the sake of the fans, that onus dissipates down the championship stretch.
Although it must rate as one of Hamilton's most composed and best-controlled grand prix wins, it was also relatively easy for the young contender. The pace of the McLaren, coupled with Hamilton's natural speed and confidence, was always going to be too much for the Ferraris. All Hamilton had to do was to ensure that he maintained his pole position advantage and led through the first corner.