On Sunday, Valtteri Bottas brought himself firmly back into contention for the 2017 Formula 1 title, claiming his second win of the season and his career at the Austrian Grand Prix.
It was a performance that once again highlighted how Mercedes got it right in choosing the Finn to replace world champion Nico Rosberg because when Lewis Hamilton was out of the picture, this time due to a five-place grid penalty, he was able to step up and beat Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari.
Even non-executive chairman Niki Lauda acknowledged the importance of his result, telling Sky Sports afterwards: "Valtteri saved us really because to beat Vettel in this close race, it was only him."
Much like after his first win back in Sochi, many believe this could be a turning point that allows Bottas to be the 'other guy' in the championship fight, slowly staying in touch as the focus remains on the two heavyweights.
Two second's and a win since Monaco have seen Bottas gain 19 points on leader Vettel with the gap between them now 35 points approaching the halfway point. The former Williams driver is also just 15 behind team-mate Hamilton too, but does he really have a realistic chance of the title?
Frankly, it's still hard to imagine it despite his win at Spielberg, it would seem likely the ex-GP3 champion would need the recent troubles for Vettel and Hamilton to continue if he wants to close the gap.
With 11 races to go, it's also likely that as the pressure builds, the experience of Hamilton and Vettel will tell as they take it to another level, much like we saw in their qualifying battle in Canada which left Bottas and Raikkonen trailing in their dust.
It's not to say that Bottas isn't capable, but we saw how long and how much effort and luck Rosberg needed to get the job done over Lewis, to produce and have that to beat Lewis and Sebastian in similar machinery would be even more staggering.
What Bottas will very likely do, however, is determining who does come out on top after the finale in Abu Dhabi.
Already it could be suggested that if Hamilton was to win the title by less than 14 points, the ability of Bottas to hold Vettel behind under huge pressure to claim his two wins was crucial.
But each time the Finn can finish between Hamilton and Vettel or simply take points off one of them, it'll be either Hamilton or the four-time world champion left smiling.
It likely won't just be one-way traffic either in terms of only Hamilton benefitting. Sure it's more likely if Mercedes play the team game, which they have already done several times this year, but the longer Valtteri can consider himself a part of the championship battle, there could well be times he does take points off his team-mate because there was nothing Toto Wolff and Co. could do.
What would sway it heavily in Hamilton's favour, however, is if the development of the Mercedes later in the year starts to see a wider gap emerge between them and Ferrari. That way there could be a greater margin for error for Bottas to perhaps not be as quick as Lewis but still finish second, as was the case in Canada.
At the end of all this, Bottas still has plenty to gain even if it wasn't the championship. With every strong result he achieves, regardless of who it affects in the title race, it becomes increasingly harder for the Brackley team to say no to giving him another year on his contract. Helping Mercedes to secure a fourth consecutive Constructors' crown would be another excellent way to do that.
Future of Belgian and Japanese GP's unce
Verstappen bemoans "less fun" F1 cars si
2018 could be a "legendary" season for F
Ferrari the possible target of new FIA d
Hamilton confident of Mercedes comeback
Haas team boss Steiner angers IndyCar wi
Perez still eager to get his second chan
Red Bull set Ricciardo deadline as big r
Massa: Williams put money first but it h
Haas owner sure budget cap will allow mo
Renault "reasonably pleased" in "nip and
Rosberg no longer part of Kubica's manag
Hamilton sets big target for future desp
Spanish media link Alonso to McLaren exi
Mercedes claim tyre performance the bigg
Verstappen moves on from China as Red Bu
Rosberg recommends rivals exploit curren
Planned Renault engine upgrades could ex
FIA director Whiting reveals possible so
Bottas the only positive for Mercedes in
Brawn bemoans gap between top teams and
Alonso finds questions about ex or rival
Ricciardo remaining calm over future des
Jos Verstappen offers advice to son Max
McLaren claim actual 2018 car will debut
Williams warns F1 of dire consequences w
Could Ricciardo replace a retiring Hamil
Vettel reveals Safety Car grievance duri
Hamilton & Lauda among Verstappen critic
Alonso plays down significance of brief
Bottas sure Chinese win was possible wit
Ricciardo offers typically exuberant res
Deflated Hamilton felt in "no-mans land"
No hard feelings between Vettel & Versta
Ricciardo takes remarkable victory in dr
Chinese GP: Vettel beats Raikkonen to se
Ferrari reveals Liberty deadline for dec
Alonso rejects talk of McLaren move, pra
Hamilton believes Red Bull not "at the s
Chinese GP: Vettel leads Ferrari 1-2 as
Chinese GP: Hamilton pips Raikkonen in t
Chinese GP: Hamilton sets rapid early pa
No extra practice for Kubica amid Willia
Gasly was giving "credit back to Honda"
Ricciardo would have "100 percent" attac
Vettel still sure Mercedes are the team
FIA announce next step in response to re
Hamilton and Verstappen shake hands as "
Mercedes boss reveals surprising driver
Bahrain an example of why F1 drivers con
Red Bull want Renault improvement after
Alonso calls for McLaren improvement aft
Ricciardo left devastated after early Ba
Mercedes boss rueful after Bottas comes
Gasly revels in "unbelievable" run to fo
Hamilton & Verstappen hit out at each ot
Injured Ferrari mechanic undergoes succe
Bahrain GP: Vettel holds off charging Bo
Hamilton points to heat and engine modes
Alonso admits McLaren had "negative surp
Verstappen blames engine anomoly for Bah
Bahrain GP: Vettel leads Ferrari 1-2 in
Reported budget cap figure for 2021 "muc
Verstappen would consider ban on Mercede
Vettel sure of further Ferrari gains aft
Ricciardo reluctant to see Bottas penali
Hamilton hit by five-place grid drop for
Bahrain GP: Ferrari move to the front as
Bahrain GP: Ricciardo sets surprise earl
Details emerge as F1 bosses reveal 2021
FIA seek measures to improve F1 overtaki
Hamilton & Vettel disagree on current pe
Hamilton watching Liberty as he ponders
Liberty make one-off deal for grid girls
Haas reveal measures to avoid repeat of
Alonso talks McLaren expectations and wh
New Hamilton/ Mercedes contract "as good
Sauber boss Vasseur warns F1 teams could
Toro Rosso drivers set for modified Hond
Mercedes boss Wolff admits Australia los
Hulkenberg positive Renault success will
Brawn fires back at "personally offensiv
Spanish media claim McLaren want rid of
Sirotkin rejects Villeneuve's outlandish
Bahrain GP Preview: Hamilton seeks reven
Monaco could extend F1 track thanks to n
Sainz trying not to be put off by loan s
Ricciardo keen not to "disrespect" Red B
A qualifying sprint race part of propose
Alonso sees McLaren joining big three te
FIA's Whiting sees no reason to act on t
Red Bull advisor Marko defends his Webbe
Bottas insists Mercedes face a "tough se
Vettel brushed off Hamilton's post-quali
Gasly encouraged by "big, big" Honda eng
Ricciardo: Slower F1 acceptable with bet
Lewis Hamilton to quit F1 for Formula E
Renault to call for engine development f
Vergne reveals his first reaction to Har
Vettel "wouldn't mind" Ricciardo reunion