It is appropriate that Sunday's Grand Prix was held in China, for the race (indeed the entire weekend) represented the yin and yang of modern F1 - wet and dry, heroes and zeroes, Michelin and Bridgestone, Renault and Ferrari, daring and caution, strategic brilliance and tactical blunders, greybeard experience and rookie rawness, triumph and despair. And, ultimately and symbolically, one team dropping their champagne bottle while the other caught theirs.
Michael Schumacher © XPB/LAT
For Ferrari's Michael Schumacher, the Chinese connection went beyond the yin and the yang. In the third last race of his career, Schumacher played like a master exponent of Chinese checkers, deftly ensuring that each move dropped him into exactly the right slot at the right time, and able to respond to any counter from his opponents.
For those Chinese F1 fans who rushed to snap up the dwindling tickets after Schumacher announced his retirement at Monza, it was the smartest move of their F1 spectating lives. Although there have been many races where Schumacher has showcased his skills to jaw-dropping effect, Shanghai must surely rate as one of the most improbable and satisfying of his career.
It started with the wet qualifying on Saturday afternoon. After the emotional high of victory at Monza, and even for a wet weather expert like Schumacher, the dark and sodden Shanghai track must have seemed like the path to purgatory.