Kimi Raikkonen was coming back to Formula 1 in 2012 after his post-Ferrari "gardening leave" for two full-seasons in WRC and even a short stint with NASCAR? How could he possibly still have the touch after being out of the loop for so long? We'd all seen what a long layoff had done for Michael Schumacher; surely Raikkonen wouldn't do better than the seven-time champion.
After all, there's been a sea change since 2009 in F1 - tires have changed, teams have changed, drivers have come and gone since Raikkonen's last tenure with Ferrari at the top of the sport. The cars are different to drive than they were during his last stint and there are new - and more - tracks on the schedule he had to learn.
The Iceman came; he saw what needed to be done and went about his business with customary quiet fortitude. Just about the only time Kimi Raikkonen put a wheel wrong was in the finale at Brazil when he took a no-longer-used escape road.
What is the best way to sum up Kimi Raikkonen's triumphant return to the Formula 1? How about what he told his talkative engineer en route to his 2012 victory over both Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso at Abu Dhabi:
"Leave me alone. I know what I'm doing."