As expected once Mark Webber retired from the Korean Grand Prix, the F1 world championship standings were reshuffled, but it wasn't the Australian's Red Bull Racing team-mate Sebastian Vettel who took the initiative.
The German led from the start of the race, which began behind the safety car, and survived two further periods in which the pace was controlled, but ultimately succumbed to a rare engine failure just ten laps from home, allowing Fernando Alonso to leapfrog to the top of the table.
The Ferrari driver heads to Brazil in two weeks' time leading Webber by eleven points after his third win in four races, while Vettel's failure drops him back to fourth place as Lewis Hamilton's second place was enough to keep him firmly in the hunt, albeit 21 points adrift of Alonso with 50 on offer in the final two rounds.
Vettel is four points behind the Briton, but Jenson Button's twelfth place has realistically - if not mathematically - taken him out of the equation as he now requires mass carnage amongst the quartet ahead of him in both remaining rounds.
Felipe Massa and Robert Kubica consolidated sixth and seventh places overall, ahead of Michael Schumacher, who equalled his best finish for Mercedes in fourth place.
The constructors' championship, which could have been sealed by Red Bull this weekend, now remains wide open, with McLaren closing back to within 27 points of the Milton Keynes team, and Ferrari's 1-3 finish allowing it grab hold of a lifeline with 86 points still available.
TO SEE THE UPDATED CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS POST-KOREA, CLICK HERE