Bahrain was an absorbing motor race from beginning to end, and something of a slap in the face for those who held that 84-time winner Michael Schumacher had mutated into an old has-been.
Granted, Michael had a mellow, relaxed air about him. Maybe it was the imagination, but he did seem to lack a bit of the old intensity. He seemed to be enjoying it all so much. Much more than he used to enjoy finishing second with a car capable of winning. But then again, after a season like 2005, perhaps he had every reason to be wearing a smiley face.
Renault and Fernando Alonso did a great job from first to last but no disrespect to them, so many eyes were on the Ferrari performance. It was strong enough to have brought a debut victory for the 248 if the pendulum of fortune had swung the other way.
Qualifying was virgin territory for everyone, of course, and understanding the nuances will be key to a season that has every sign of being a classic.