These should be exciting times for Max Verstappen, the Red Bull driver with four consecutive podiums approaching the end of the Formula One season.
Lewis Hamilton has again sauntered to the title, but Verstappen, the man in form, leads the list of challengers as attention starts to turn towards next year and the prospect of a potentially closer title race.
Where Sebastian Vettel has faded in the closing weeks and Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas continues his long wait for a win, Verstappen has put the early season disappointment of retirements and lowly finishes behind him.
But the Dutchman himself has still managed to tarnish these fine performances, making the headlines for all the wrong reasons on Sunday.
In Brazil, Verstappen appeared destined for back-to-back race wins for the first time in his F1 career until his attempted lapping of Esteban Ocon on lap 44 saw the pair tangle, allowing Hamilton to storm through and take the lead.
Happy to finish 2nd, but we should have won today. The car was brilliant and @redbullracing came with a great strategy. Our race pace was better than expected and we did everything well today. Thanks to all fans for voting me Driver of the Day again #KeepPushing #BrazilGP pic.twitter.com/dXmUbf9yXf— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) November 11, 2018
The 21-year-old had every right to be frustrated with Ocon, who was handed a 10-second stop/go penalty, but he is far from the first driver to be let down by a rival's mistake. What came next - Verstappen angrily shoving the Racing Point Force India man in front of stunned team officials and prying camera lenses - did not show the Red Bull star in the best light.
The ego of an elite racing driver is renowned and this was not the first time Verstappen had shown petulance in recent weeks, bemoaning his team and his car as colleague Daniel Ricciardo qualified marginally faster in Mexico.
It is this relentless drive that will inspire Verstappen to take on Hamilton at the business end of the next campaign, yet such fury bubbling so close to the surface will equally do him no favours.
"I'm used to the fights with Max," Ocon said afterwards. "He's always been the same. It goes back a few years."
Meanwhile, Hamilton added: "I wasn't surprised by it. Max is that go-getter guy and, every now and then, it bites you."
Indeed, Verstappen's actions stood in stark contrast with those of Hamilton earlier in the weekend.
The five-time champion raged at Sergey Sirotkin in qualifying as the pair narrowly avoided a collision, but the Briton had apologised to the Williams man by the next morning, confessing it was an honest mistake. The drivers, unsurprisingly, did not come to blows.
Perhaps signs of immaturity should not come as a surprise with Verstappen, the third youngest driver on the grid this year, but he must grow up fast if he hopes to be a champion in 2019.
He will need all the help he can get to overhaul the experienced Hamilton next season and physically reproaching rivals is unlikely to earn the young talent many friends. A brief handshake has hopefully settled tensions.
It is up to Verstappen now to end the campaign on a high and ensure that next year, with a clean slate, his sensational driving is top of the agenda.
|Derby grant Lampard permission to speak to Chelsea|
|Jean Lucas signs for Lyon amid Ndombele exit talk|
|Wladimir Klitschko rescued from yacht after fire|
|Stephen Curry 10 years on: The six players drafted before the Warriors star|
|Stephen Curry 10 years on: An NBA trailblazer in numbers|
|US president Trump criticises Rapinoe´s anthem protest|
|Stephen Curry 10 years on: Warriors pick the perfect script - ex-college coach|
|Australia turn to Lyon as England stick with Sri Lanka XI|
|Brawn welcomes Hamilton insight on new F1 rules|
|Real Madrid can help Hazard reach the highest level, says Torres|
|Kobe sets MVP Giannis new challenge|
|Wimbledon seeding is disrespectful, says Nadal|
|Leicester Tigers put up for sale|
|There are no secrets - Rueda insight won´t give Chile upper hand against Colombia|
|Rumour Has It: Man United reject Neymar-Pogba swap with PSG|
|Clinical Cavani a ´scoring expert´ - Tabarez|
|Harden joins exclusive group with third MVP runner-up finish|
|Late rally lifts Red Sox past White Sox|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo bursts into tears after winning MVP|
|Three takeaways from 2019 NBA awards|
|Coutinho: My Barcelona future? I don´t know|
|NBA awards 2019: Complete list of winners|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo named NBA MVP|
|Lakers on ´right path´ as owner Buss backs Pelinka|
|Mavs sensation Doncic crowned NBA Rookie of the Year|
|James not sure where he´ll play amid Napoli speculation|
|Chile 0 Uruguay 1: Cavani header snatches top spot in Group C|
|Ecuador 1 Japan 1: Draw sees both nations exit Copa America|
|Australian Christian Lobby sets up new fundraiser for Folau|
|Celtics exploring ´different opportunities´ amid uncertainty over Irving and Horford – Ainge|
|Peru´s Farfan ruled out of Copa America|
|Rapinoe sets up USA showdown with France, Sweden scrape through|
|Iguodala: Durant and Thompson? Nobody´s going to the Knicks|
|Mali 4 Mauritania 1: Marega helps down AFCON debutants|
|Euro U21s Review: Kenny stunner not enough for England as France´s draw with Romania sends Italy out|
|Zamorano: Sanchez needs to play - at Manchester United or elsewhere|
|It is time for Neymar to decide, says Belletti|
|Norwich sign Switzerland striker Drmic|
|Dzumhur makes successful start to Antalya defence|
|Robertson: I did not tell Tierney to quit Celtic|
|Wozniacki right at home in Eastbourne, Pliskova also makes progress|
|Ajax sign Netherlands forward Promes|
|Tunisia 1 Angola 1: Eagles of Carthage denied winning AFCON start|
|Ghana v Benin: Black Stars present united front before opener|
|Neymar wishes Messi happy birthday as Barcelona return rumours grow|
|England v Australia: Morgan´s men look for response after Sri Lanka setback|
|Perfect preparation key to Shakib heroics|
|Gerrard aware of Derby speculation amid Lampard´s expected Chelsea switch|
|Stupendous Shakib torments Afghanistan|
|Ivory Coast 1 South Africa 0: Kodjia secures precious opening win|
|Boring French Grand Prix should accelerate rule changes|
|Smith, Warner have extra motivation after World Cup heckles – Finch|
|Shearer slams Newcastle ´shambles´ as players & fans hail Benitez|
|Windies replace injured Russell with Ambris|
|CAF chief Johansen calls for investigation into Cameroon after Women´s World Cup controversy|
|Cameroon v Guinea-Bissau: Seedorf´s Indomitable Lions ´serene´ despite bonus row|
|Morgan has no issue with Smith and Warner boos|
|Barty pulls out of Eastbourne with arm injury|
|Barcelona would win more if Messi was a team player - Van Gaal|
|San Siro to be ´knocked down´, claims AC Milan president|
|Missing Origin decider would be ´devastating´ for injured Cleary|
|US Open singles ´not the target´ for Murray after Queen´s triumph|
|Newcastle confirm Benitez departure|
|England´s Roy ruled out of Australia clash|
|First big hoax of the season - Napoli shut down Allan & Insigne sale rumours|
|Van Dijk excited for Liverpool´s future|
|Baghdatis to bow out after Wimbledon|
|Coutinho, Arthur want Neymar back at Barcelona|
|Folau a victim of ´continuing campaign of discrimination´ after GoFundMe page shut down|
|Messi at 32: The superstar´s 10 finest goals for club and country|