McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen charged from 17th place on the starting grid to seize a thrilling victory on the last lap of the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka on Sunday.
Yet, on another bittersweet afternoon for his team, the Finn's heroics failed to prevent rivals Renault from recapturing the lead in the constructors' championship with one race remaining.
Renault took second and third place with Italian Giancarlo Fisichella and newly-crowned champion Fernando Alonso respectively to move two points clear of McLaren after starting the day two points behind.
McLaren's sixth win in a row, and Raikkonen's seventh of the season, came after a nail-biting last six laps with the Finn hunting down Fisichella and snatching the lead from the little Roman on the last lap.
It was a remarkable show of strength from a team fighting a rearguard action after heavy rain in qualifying wrecked their hopes of starting from the front.
They suffered a further blow after one lap when Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, winner in Brazil, piled into the tyre barrier.
The incident, which stewards placed under investigation with Canadian Jacques Villeneuve also seemingly involved, brought out the safety car for seven laps as marshals cleared Montoya's wrecked car from the edge of the track.
1. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) McLaren 1:29:02.212
2. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Renault +00:01.633
3. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Renault 00:17.456
4. Mark Webber (Australia) Williams 00:22.274
5. Jenson Button (Britain) BAR 00:29.507
6. David Coulthard (Britain) Red Bull 00:31.601
7. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Ferrari 00:33.879
8. Ralf Schumacher (Germany) Toyota 00:49.548
9. Christian Klien (Austria) Red Bull 00:51.925
10. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Sauber 00:57.509
11. Jacques Villeneuve (Canada) Sauber 00:58.221
12. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Ferrari 01:00.633
13. Takuma Sato (Japan) BAR 1 lap
14. Tiago Monteiro (Portugal) Jordan 1 lap
15. Robert Doornbos (Netherlands) Minardi 2 laps
16. Narain Karthikeyan (India) Jordan 2 laps
17. Christijan Albers (Netherlands) Minardi 4 laps
r. Antonio Pizzonia (Brazil) Williams 44 laps
r. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Toyota 44 laps
r. Juan Pablo Montoya (Colombia) McLaren 53 laps
(rank: r = retired, nc = not classified)
Fastest Lap: Kimi Raikkonen, 1:31.540, lap 44.