It was the most tense, enthralling, and - at times - bewildering championship battle for many years, but its outcome was almost overshadowed by Michael Schumacher's extraordinary departure from Formula One, and the explosion of patriotic delight as the Brazilian crowd finally saw one of their own win at home again after a 13-year drought.
As the madness unfolded all around him, Fernando Alonso stayed focused and determined, and did what was necessary to clinch his second consecutive title. In fact, his second place was a little excessive as eighth would have sufficed, but it was important to leave nothing to chance, and the podium was the best place to celebrate the championship.
It would also have been the best place for Schumacher to bid farewell. His final race had none of the poignant symmetry of the Monza afternoon when he was able to announce his retirement having just won in front of the adoring tifosi, with his successor alongside him, and after giving his title hopes a vast boost.