Puffing on one of his trademark cigars as the season came to an end, Peter Sauber let his mind relax and his memories melt out. For the quiet Swiss team chief it was the end of an era, the passing of the privateers, and a pointer towards a new bigger more commercial future for himself and for the sport.
This season marked the disappearance of not only Sauber, set up by Peter Sauber in 1993, but also Jordan, a private team set up two years previously by Eddie Jordan, Minardi, a private team set up by Gian Carlo Minardi way back in 1985, and BAR, a private team set up by British American Tobacco in 2000.
Everyone will remain in the sport, Sauber and BAR selling up to major motor manufacturers BMW and Honda respectively, Minardi selling up to energy drinks giant Red Bull and Jordan re-branding to become a money earner for Alex Shnaider's Midland Group.
But all those changes, be they from privateer to major motor manufacturer or privateer to privateer, have one thing in common. The new owners are not racers, they have not come in to the sport for the thrill of competition, they have come in to gamble on making Formula One work for them.