Once you've designed and built your new car... and launched it to the world's press... and hired a couple of throttle jockeys to drive it... and tested it over thousands of kilometres at Barcelona, Jerez and Valencia... and done all your sponsorship deals... and written your press packs... and painted your trucks... and redesigned your team apparel... and freighted everything and everyone to Bahrain or Malaysia or Australia or wherever... the die is cast, right?
In other words, what you've ended up with - the famous package that everyone in F1 craves and reveres - is either going to make your team a contender for victory... or it ain't. If it is, well, bully for you. If it ain't, well, there's always next year.
In a nutshell, the above paragraph represents a whistle-stop tour through conventional F1 paddock wisdom with regard to the art of winning, and it's largely accurate.
But, although it may be the truth, it's neither nothing but the truth nor the whole truth. Because, once you've done all those things and your mechanics are rolling your cars into your pit garage and you're into the three-day countdown to the when-the-flag-drops-the-bullshit-stops zero hour, which is to say 2:00pm on Sunday... there are still five men in 21st-century F1, but only five, who can make the difference between winning and merely taking part.