Has Hamilton finally turned the corner?
Somehow you suspected that, after all his problems this year, there was going to be a happy ending for Lewis Hamilton somewhere along the line - and it came with a top-class, controlled drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
As he celebrated on Sunday, the healing nature of the weekend's events was clear in the McLaren driver's face.
Suddenly all the bad things that have turned this into what Hamilton himself has called his worst season in Formula 1 took on a new perspective in the wake of his first win since the German Grand Prix back in July.
This was a Hamilton that has not been seen in 2011, calmly ticking off the laps at the front, resolute in the face of a challenge from Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, the sport's most relentless competitor, doing just enough to keep the Spaniard at arm's length without extending his car and tyres more than he needed to.
In that sense, it was very like many of the wins taken this season by Sebastian Vettel, whose domination has left Hamilton over-striving, increasingly frustrated in the face of the Red Bull's generally uncontainable speed.
Brilliant as they were, Hamilton's two previous wins this season in China and Germany came about on weekends when Red Bull were slightly off-form in one way or another.
But Hamilton did not have to worry about Vettel in Abu Dhabi after a mysterious puncture pitched the German into a spin at the second corner of the race.
The flailing tyre did so much damage to the car as the world champion wrestled it back to the pits that Vettel was forced to retire at the end of the first lap.
Whatever the cause of the failure, it means it will remain a tantalising mystery as to whether Hamilton could have beaten Vettel had the Red Bull remained in the race.
The Englishman was certainly confident that he had a good chance. He had looked the form man all weekend, to the extent that it was something of a surprise that Vettel pipped him to pole position on Saturday. As much as it can be a surprise that a man who has taken all but four pole positions all season should get another one, anyway.
Hamilton drove superbly throughout the three days in the desert, showing none of the mental instability or driving misjudgements that have stymied him in recent races and led to so many of his well publicised contretemps with Ferrari's Felipe Massa.
Hamilton said after the race that he had felt much more positive this weekend than at recent races, and it certainly looked that way.
It was, as McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh pointed out, "a great recovery from where he's been in the last few months".
Certainly, it was a marked contrast from previous races, where his state of mind -
about which Hamilton was unusually open in Abu Dhabi - was clearly anything but peaceful.
The end of his four-year relationship with pop singer Nicole Scherzinger last month has clearly affected him - he mentioned that he did not intend to stay single for long.
And after his victory on Sunday, Hamilton added that he wanted to get his father Anthony and brother Nicholas - both of whom were at his side at all the races until this season - back to provide him more support.
As well as the issues in his personal life, he also talked about a "negative vibe from everyone" that had surrounded him recently as he was faced with "negative questions" from the media about his troubles on the track. All this, he said, "affects your judgement".
Hamilton's willingness to discuss these problems in public is to be applauded - it gives an all-too-rare insight into the inner workings of one of world sport's biggest stars, and in Abu Dhabi at least he found the means to rise above it.
Hamilton is a truly great racing driver. But if Sir Jackie Stewart, for example, were to hear those remarks, he would be tearing his hair out.
Stewart - a three-time world champion and one of the greatest racing drivers in history - has long talked about the importance of removing emotion before climbing into a Formula 1 car. It is too easy, he says, for that emotion to cloud your judgement - and with that comes mistakes. In his era, that meant serious injury or worse.
Safety has improved and the risks are lower now, but nevertheless Hamilton seems this year to have been living proof of the truth of Stewart's remarks.
Hamilton is an emotionally driven man, and some would argue that this is what allows him to access the stunning highs that none of his rivals are able to match. To take away the emotion, they would argue, would be to take away some of his gift, too. The one is not possible without the other.
But others would say that, whatever support mechanisms you create around you, life is unpredictable, and that whatever happens away from the sporting arena, it is a top-class athlete's job not to let those problems affect their performance.
In the euphoria of victory, Whitmarsh said of Hamilton: "There is no reason in my mind why he can't raise himself to another level now."
On the evidence of Sunday, that was exactly what Hamilton did this weekend in Abu Dhabi. Which suggests that if Hamilton can continue to keep his personal life out of the cockpit of his car, there is every reason to believe Whitmarsh's remarks are more substance than spin.