Jenson Button finally became world champion last weekend, but anyone who claims he stumbled to the title with a faltering display in the second half of the season couldn't be further from the truth.
Button's title success was built on his stunning series of victories in the early part of the season when, making the most of the advantage their controversial but legal double diffuser design gave them, he won six from seven.
But that was the easy bit. At a time when the Brawn GP car was, for the most part, streets ahead of its rivals all he had to do was steer it to victory. When their rivals caught up, it was a different story - and it was in the tough battles throughout the second half of the season where he truly proved his world champion credentials.
Brawn admitted the team had "made hard work of it" over the second half of the year but added that the fact Button is "a fantastic racer" had pulled them through. And the statistics prove just that.
Button said last Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix was the best race of his life, not simply because he won the world title but because of the way he did it - not by winning the race but by showing his racing spirit.
After starting in 14th he gained four places from cars taken out by a variety of incidents in front of him as well as one from an overtake on the opening lap, but it was after the early safety car that he really showed his mettle.
His move on Sebastian Grosjean, which began at turn four and required stern defence through several subsequent corners, was simply stunning. He followed it with textbook moves on Kazuki Nakajima and, eventually, Namui Kobayashi, with a car that was set up to maximise performance on the main straight but required him to use all his talent to overcome a lack of downforce at the crucial turn 14 to enable him to make the passes into turn one.
In all, Button made up nine places after a disastrous qualifying to finish fifth while his title rival team-mate Rubens Barrichello went the opposite way and dropped a massive seven places from pole during the race to finish eighth. In the end, Button could have coasted home - but that would not have been his style.
While it may have looked like Button has just been picking up the scraps on his way to the title in the last few races, he has in fact been qualifying so badly he had to call on champion race performances just to get the points he needed.
Button himself admitted he has "screwed up qualifying a few times" but added that he has "been able to bring it back in the races - and that is what is important".
Indeed it is. Of the top three title contenders, Button has the worst qualifying record this season - Sebastian Vettel and Barrichello both average a start position of 4.56 while Button is down at 5.75. In contrast, however, the new World Champion has the best finishing record of any driver, averaging 4.5th place this season compared to Barrichello's 5.5th and Vettel's 7.25th.
Unsurprisingly then, of the top three, he is the driver who has made up most places from grid to finish, averaging 1.6 to Vettel's 1.3, while Barrichello has qualified well but not managed to keep that up in the races, averaging just a 0.1 gain on his grid spot throughout the year.
Button's true battling instinct and positive mental attitude, though, has been highlighted in the last four races, not only in the spectacular overtaking moves of Brazil but also through strategic driving in Italy, Singapore and Japan that saw him make the most out of poor qualifying performances.
Having qualified sixth in Italy - his second worst position of the season - he put in a consistent performance and gained four places to finish second. After that, he qualified in double figures in each of the three subsequent races but was able to make his way through the field in the race itself. At a time when he was under most pressure, he averaged a gain of 5.3 places per race.
After finally securing the title, Button admitted he has been feeling the heat after reading too many papers. "It's tough (to read that) when you know you are at the top of your game," he explained. But, as Brawn said, the outside may be fluffy but the inside is steel.
Now the tension is released, Brawn believes Button will be "uncaged" - and that could make Abu Dhabi a lot of fun. "I don't want to be beaten in the next race," Button explained. "Not as the world champion."