As three former champions moved forwards, one possible future champion suffered another setback.
By any standards Jenson Button has had an extraordinary season, literally multiplying his winning tally by seven.
But the wheels have seemingly somewhat begun to come off, as his last three races have yielded not a single podium finish.
In a visibly faltering car the Brit is almost prepared for the fight, if it were not for his ease at blaming the car beneath him.
Yes, a car is built by a team. It is an intricately designed and intricately produced piece of effortlessly flawless machinery, capable of shooting high g-force around a Formula One track.
And it is always the driver beneath a car who can elevate the car to legendary status. Schumacher accomplished this at Benetton, Senna at Lotus and Alonso at Renault.
Jenson has rarely been considered a title winner. Too many seasons of disappointment put paid to English optimism.
However this was contradicted with the barrage of shock at his thunderous return to the front of the field in 2009.
Although his opinions in the last few races have set up a frame of mind that could easily see him relegated back to being the also ran.
Jenson has always had a habit of looking for faults in his car rather than himself. Obviously we share to a certain extent in his disappointment. It is clear to see that McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari have all gained ground.
Jenson is heading towards a title fight that at the moment looks like one he can only lose. And for such a destructive beginning to a season to reverse its fortunes and leave him on the losing side would of course be a devastating result.
His pessimistic views however of what his car can and cannot do surely cannot be helping his cause.
Instead of hearing his constant rants of his car letting him down, it would be a lot more productive to hear Jenson believing in his teams car alongside his own personal skill set which will help him to reignite their title credentials and in turn keep stable the bulging points gap that he has built up for himself.
We are all aware of how a car can make or break a title challenge, but with Button you often feel that the magnitude to which he demeans his car is a lot smaller in reality.