Jacques Villeneuve was having something of an unexpected Indian summer to his career at BMW Sauber this season.
First GP: Australia 1996
2005 position: 14th
Previous teams: Williams, BAR, Renault
But it ended abruptly when he was split with the team following an accident at the German Grand Prix.
Villeneuve said he did not feel ready to return for Hungary, for which he was replaced by test driver Robert Kubica.
When the team could offer Villeneuve no assurances about his drive, they split - an unsatisfactory end to the career of one of F1's more charismatic stars.
Villeneuve heaved a sigh of relief when BMW said they would be retaining him for 2006 after taking over Sauber.
But having won that reprieve after a not wholly 2005, he comfortably outstripped team-mate Nick Heidfeld.
The Canadian, champion for Williams in 1997, has proved he is not a spent force but his hopes of a future are dim.
But at the age of 35 he is unlikely to find another drive.