Now that blew the title race wide open.
Sebastian Vettel's victory coupled with Fernando Alonso's crash leaves the two four points apart with just five races remaining.
Suzuka has always been a place where championships were decided in the past with Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher winning their titles there. While that was not going to happen this time around, the circuit always manages to tell a good story and it was no different in 2012.
The view from within the studio after the race is that Ferrari, with the slower car, could struggle to match Red Bull. Whatever the Red Bull mechanics figured out between Spa and the Singapore Grand Prix, it all seems to be working for them. Put that machine into the hands of Sebastian Vettel and it's guaranteed assassination.
Vettel, in my opinion, is now the clear favourite for the title barring any catastrophic crashes.
The real winner in Suzuka, though, was Kamui Kobayashi who got the first podium finish of his career. We used to call him 'Banzai' Kobayashi, because of his tendency to charge in haste, and make careless mistakes in the past but he was flawless in the race on Sunday.
It was a very important weekend for the Japanese driver. He doesn't have a new contract with Sauber yet and needed to prove his worth. With team-mate Sergio Perez having signed for McLaren he was under a lot of pressure and a weaker driver could have crumbled.
But instead Kobayashi was focused in qualifying and on race day. He had a good start, a good clean getaway, managing to control his pace and he didn't overdrive or make the silly mistakes that were characteristic of him in the past.
Then, at the last leg of the race, we saw Jensen Button catching up with Kobayashi but the Sauber driver held on and finished in third place.
Sure, he may not have been able to emulate Vettel who won his first race at Monza as a 21-year-old but you can't compare him to the Vettels, the Alonsos as they come once in a blue moon. I think 26 is still rather young and Kobayashi has learnt well from his two full seasons in Formula 1.
In fact, most drivers really mature in their mid-20s and that's when we've seen the best of Button, Alonso and Hamilton.
Regarding the first-turn crash, it was Alonso's fault for clipping Kimi Raikkonen's first wing and causing a puncture for the Ferrari car. I don't know if you want to call it a racing incident or a first corner incident or whatever. Let's just say it was an unfortunate incident.
But I think overall, Alonso has pulled out the results when we didn't expect him to. It's nearly impossible to complete seasons without retirements and car failures. He just has to pick himself up and continue.
And Romain Grosjean, who ended Mark Webber's participation in the race, is impacting the championship in a stupid way. I think the general feeling in the Lotus paddock is that everyone's lost their patience with Grosjean. He's no longer a rookie given that this is his second stint in Formula 1.
FIA's already tried disciplining him. They've banned him for a race, he's been fined and at other times, he's been given grid penalties. Now he was given a stop-go penalty.
The problem is that there's so much potential in Grosjean. When you throw away his mistakes and you look at that, he's been fast and has often been the lead driver for Lotus ahead of Raikkonen. The thing is the mistakes he makes are quite massive because they're not in isolation.
Now it's just a matter of the team deciding if he is worth keeping on and investing the time and effort in him and whether his talent can make up for the repeated errors.
But Felipe Massa was in the spotlight for all the right reasons after grabbing his first podium finish in two years. I thought he did really well to start from tenth and make his way through the mess that was unfolding around him.
Strangely enough, Alonso's crash seemed to have benefitted him. Sometimes, it seems like when Fernando's not around Massa drives a lot better.
The pressure of being the lone driver gets to him in a good way because he has to pull out a performance but when Alonso's on the same pace as him, he falters. Maybe Sunday was the boost he needed to try and turn around his career with Ferrari. At the very least, it's crucial for him to post such strong performances and be Alonso's buffer against Vettel.
For now, Alonso has to prepare for the Korean Grand Prix knowing that he has no choice but to beat Vettel and stay a step ahead for the title.
I sincerely hope Vettel and Alonso don't suffer any further crashes and allow the season to be decided when the last chequered flag is waved at the Brazilian Grand Prix on November 26.
Sanjeev Palar was speaking to ESPNSTAR.com's Suhas Bhat