Mercedes handed out a strategy lesson to Red Bull and Lewis Hamilton out-paced his only real title rival, Max Verstappen, creating yet more records on his way to a sixth victory in the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
It was another phenomenally successful weekend for Hamilton, who followed up his 100th F1 pole position with his fifth straight victory in Spain, while recording F1 victory number 98.
Even though Verstappen aggressively took the lead at the first corner, and led for most of the race, in the end he lost to Hamilton by over 15 seconds, with Hamilton's defiant teammate Valtteri Bottas another 11 seconds back in third place. There was then a gap of 30 seconds to Ferraris' Charles Leclerc in fourth place.
Hamilton can thank his team for pulling off a strategic masterclass for his win but can also take an equal share of the plaudits for his relentless drive and pace, which simply undid Verstappen and Red Bull.
The outcome also laid to rest the myth that somehow the Red Bull is faster or equal to the Mercedes. It is definitely not faster, because twice during the race Hamilton hunted Verstappen down and caught him.
The first time Verstappen saved himself the embarrassment of being overtaken, by diving into the pits, catching out his team who were not ready for him, the pit stop taking 4.5 seconds, which nowadays is two seconds too slow.
Hamilton stayed out another five laps before pitting. He came out behind Verstappen, but after closing the gap down again, Hamilton then made an audacious second pit stop on lap 42 of the 66 lap race, which Verstappen failed to respond to, Red Bull deciding to leave him out on medium tyres to the end of the race.
Both teams had taken a gamble. In the case of Mercedes, it was giving Hamilton the task of closing down a gap of 22 seconds with about that number of laps to go. His race engineer told him on the team radio that he could do it, because he's done it before. In Red Bull's case it was gambling on Verstappen making his medium tyres last about 42 laps when they only had a life for 40 laps.
Bottas has previously described his team as being the hunters, expecting everyone to believe that is the case, but clearly Mercedes are back to being the hunted. The problems for Red Bull began when Verstappen pitted earlier than the team expected.
"Unfortunately, we were gearing up for the stop and then Max just arrived in the pit lane and we hadn't actually called him in at that point," Red Bull boss Christian Horner explained.
"Because we'd had that slow stop, we thought they [Mercedes] would immediately take that next lap. Obviously, they didn't and we got back track position, but they just looked like they had the quicker car today.
"They didn't look like they would pass Max on the track on the same strategy, so they had nothing to lose by taking a pit stop into clean air and it worked out for them today," Horner added.
Asked if Red Bull could have countered the Mercedes attack, Horner conceded, "I don't think we could.
"In fairness, hats off to Mercedes and Lewis - they were just quicker than we were today, the fact they could follow so close through the first two stints of the race.
"We were surprised they didn't go for the undercut earlier and pull the trigger, so we'd managed to keep track position. But the problem is that when the field opens up to the degree that it did behind, Lewis has then just got a 'free' pass. So, we knew he was probably going to catch us."
Verstappen described himself as a "sitting duck" and he wasn't wrong.
There was some sympathy extended towards Red Bull by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, although judging by his celebration as Hamilton crossed the finish line, it was probably a rather gleeful sympathy.
"It is so difficult I guess at the front for Red Bull to take the right decisions because you give up position you could have lost the race," Wolff said. "Second is just easier when you have the gap to make that call."
Horner said it was a replay from Hungary 2019 when Hamilton was trailing Verstappen, yet boldly made a second stop, and caught him to take victory.
Sky Sport commentators David Croft and Martin Brundle actually referred to that race in Hungary as they saw the drama unfolding in Spain, so you have to wonder why Red Bull weren't aware of the likelihood of history repeating itself. When Hamilton pitted for a second stop, Red Bull should have responded, but didn't.
"In a way I could see it coming," Verstappen philosophically said when interviewed by Jenson Button after the race. "Already at the end with the softs he was faster, and then when we were put on the mediums, he clearly had a lot more pace, he could just stay within one second.
"There was not much we could have done. They went for another stop and then I knew it was over because I was already struggling with the tyres and you could see every lap he was getting closer and closer. I was just a sitting duck.
"We were just clearly lacking pace. Nevertheless, I tried everything I could."
For Hamilton, this was just another dream weekend, one of many in his illustrious career that sees him setting new records you just know will never be broken. He appears to remain humble, even seemingly surprised, with each success.
Fernando Alonso, who has rejoined F1 after a two-year break, and it shows in his inconsistencies, has suggested Hamilton deserves more credit than he gets.
"It seems that he is at an ideal moment in terms of his driving and also in terms of integration with the team, and with the same luck because in Imola he had a lucky factor that he has always had it favourable in many critical moments," Alonso says.
"So you have to assess what you are doing. Do you have the best car? Yes. But with the best car you have to perform every weekend, yes and another one, in the rain, in the dry, the weekend when Red Bull is closer and another that is further away, and that can only be done if you are at the highest level and I do not know if everything he is doing is valued enough.
"I know he is valued, but I give Lewis a lot of credit right now because Mercedes no longer has the dominance of three or four years ago, in which he did win quite easily. Now they are very close sometimes and he does not let that influence him."
The reluctance to label Hamilton as the greatest ever, even though he is the holder of nearly all the records that exist, is perhaps due to his flamboyant lifestyle, wearing bling, with his hair tied in a ponytail, which prevents some people taking him seriously.
The 100th pole position he achieved in Spain won't be his last, but it is an incredible milestone, one that even Lewis finds hard to believe.
"I can't believe we're at 100," he said after qualifying. "The journey we've been on has been immense. Who would have thought at the end of 2013, when we made the decision to partner, that we would get to 100? I feel very humble, very grateful and I'm ecstatic, like it's my first."
An indication of his intensity and attention to detail is evident from his response to being squeezed out at the first corner after the start by Verstappen.
"I think we braked late into Turn 1, as late as we could, and I had to bail out eventually otherwise we were going to contact," Hamilton recalled. "After that, my strategy just switched. No issue, it was kind of like, 'okay, game on, let's figure out how we can catch him and get by."
Catch him he did, twice, and the second time to pass him with six laps remaining. Game over. Even the initial refusal of Bottas to let Hamilton past him could not stop the chase and successful hunting down.
Bottas said he was doing his own race and there wasn't much talk over the team radio.
"They told me not to hold him up too much but, like I said, I was also doing my own race. I'm not here to let people by … I'm here to race."
As admirable as that may sound, one suspects ignoring team orders might ensure Bottas is replaced by George Russell next year, although it is likely that deal is already done.
Hamilton won't want Russell as a teammate because judging by his one race for Mercedes in Sakhir late last year, Hamilton will know Russell is likely to be faster than Bottas. But that may not bother Hamilton too much, because by then he will likely be an eight-time world champion, heading for a second century of poles and race wins.
The epic season-long battle we thought we might get between Hamilton and Verstappen might already be a fizzer based on this latest Hamilton triumph, who now has a 14-point lead in the championship.