Having put in what proved to be the unbeatable pole position lap of qualifying in Singapore ahead of Sunday's Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel then headed to pit lane to watch events unfold - knowing all too well that that happened next was now out of his control.
"It's a weird feeling to stand in the garage and with less than two minutes to go and know it's too late," Vettel admitted of how it felt to watch as Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber and Romain Grosjean all put in their final laps trying to unseat Vettel from the top spot.
"It's a weird feeling to stand in the garage and with less than two minutes to go and know it's too late," he agreed. "I was watching the sector times of Romain, Mark and Nico in particular.
"Mark started with a purple sector one and was very close in sector two, then Nico had a purple sector two and then Romain had a purple sector two," but fortunately my last sector was strong enough to just stay ahead," he continued.
"It was very close with Nico but that's a great feeling then because it could have gone wrong," he added. "I'm very happy with the result and the car has been phenomenal all weekend. Yesterday the gap was a bit of a surprise but today it was more like what we expected because the Mercedes was very close behind."
"In the end it was very tight with Nico, but once you've made your decision you're committed," added team principal Christian Horner. "Having been quick in P1 on the prime tyre, fast in Q2 on the softer tyre and setting an incredible first lap that put him 0.6 seconds clear in Q3, we elected to take a strategic approach to tomorrow and not do the second run to save a new set of soft tyres."
Job done on Sunday, then, but Vettel's not taking anything for granted for Sunday in what he describes as "one of the toughest races we face all year" in the night time heat and humidity of Singapore.
"It's so long and there are so many corners with hardly any room for mistake. It's very bumpy, plus the heat and humidity plays a factor," he explained.