This season several races were turned on their heads as extreme tyre wear added another dimension to race strategy - but changes to designs for 2010 could provide F1 engineers with another tyre challenge.
This year's switch back to slick tyres, for the first time in 11 years, proved testing for Formula One's sole tyre supplier as the non-tread designs require a completely different philosophy.
With grooved tyres, a harder compound is needed because there is more movement in the tyre, whereas with the more solid contact patch of a slick tyre there is less movement so compounds could be softer.
The tyre manufacturer, which must supply two different compounds for each race from a pre-set selection of four, was also challenged to make a bigger difference between the two chosen tyres and did so by designing "families" that each worked best in different temperature ranges.
It was the teams' difficulty in learning to cope with this that created some of the early-season drama as they struggled to understand how best to use the new tyres.
Things settled down once teams had learned how the tyres worked over their lifetime, and Bridgestone's new compounds for 2010 are likely to be less extreme, creating a more balanced approach to tyre usage, although the refuelling ban could create a different challenge because the cars will be 100kg heavier at the start (they must have enough fuel to complete the distance).
The first-stint tyre will, therefore, need to be stronger and as Bridgestone have said that there will be "not so much of a change" in terms of their tyre compounds and construction, it will be even more down to the drivers to manage their wear in a heavy car on cool tyres and teams to pick the right tyre strategy.
There is one fundamentally influential factor, however, that will change for 2010 which could affect car design - and that is the size of the front tyres.
When grooved tyres were introduced many years ago, the front tyres were widened to cope with the reduced contact patch and ensure the grip balance between front and rear remained consistent.
Instead of reverting to narrower tyres when slicks returned in 2009, however, the front tyres remained the same size and that gave the fronts more grip relative to the rears, creating a tendency to over-steer.
Bridgestone modified the rear tyre construction to move the relative grip balance between front and rear further rearwards and counter the over-steer, but with limited testing (80 per cent of testing was done in laboratories this year) there was not much change that could be made.
To cope with this unusual grip balance, the weight balance of the cars between front and rear had to be changed, creating a very unique weight balance in 2009.
One of the reasons Brawn came out ahead (in addition to the double diffuser design) was that they got the weight balance right for the tyres that were used, while both McLaren and Red Bull had to make suspension changes mid-season to overcome the issue.
Lessons learned, next year will see a move to a smaller front tyre, which is expected to bring the grip balance further forward again and that will mean a different weight distribution for 2010.
All the teams, of course, have long known the front tyre reduction will be coming for 2010 - but it could be another factor that gives those who anticipated it correctly a jump-start at the beginning of the year.