Instead, it crept up on me like the unwelcome but inevitable smell of someone else's fart on a bus ride.
Perhaps it's wishful thinking, but I genuinely believe part of my brain watched the Constructors' championship celebrations in Suzuka and hoped the season was over.
Alas, no. We had a(nother) race with no heritage around an anonymous desert several thousand miles away from any core audience.
Well, at least it wasn't a street race or designed by Hermann Tilke — I suppose four of those on the calendar are enough for now, hey?
For all the new graphics explaining the last lap that a driver could pit, the one I enjoyed most was the self-congratulatory 'record' of 120,000 fans over the weekend like it was a point of pride.
Qatar celebrating that they beat their attendance from 2021, a replacement race in a pandemic-affected year, with a three-day figure that pales against a single day at Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps or COTA seemed like a toddler giving themselves a gold star for not wetting the bed.
I'm not one who wants the broadcast to cut to fans every few minutes, but the lack of on-site interest was unmistakable, further exaggerating this hype-less race.
Whether it's Pirelli at fault or these 'pyramid' kerbs is irrelevant — Formula 1 fans would mock NASCAR, Indy, or Formula E if they heard their tyres can't drive on a circuit, and they must accept that the sport looked a joke in Qatar.
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