LEWIS Hamilton believes he again proved himself to be a world champion rather than a wacky racer.
Hamilton failed to gain the victory he so desperately craved in yesterday's Korean Grand Prix, but for half of the 55-lap race the McLaren star delivered a performance for which he has become renowned.
There were no mistakes, penalties or mental aberrations that have wiped the toothy smile from his face these days, just a faultless drive to second place under the most enormous pressure.
Red Bull's Mark Webber probably slept last night with an impression of the rear of Hamilton's car firmly embedded on his brain, bearing in mind he had the perfect view of it for so long.
Only once did Webber manage to find his way past, but a relentless Hamilton refused to throw in the towel, regaining his eventual runner-up spot almost immediately.
Back on the podium for the first time in six races when he won in Germany in late July, Hamilton finally awarded himself a pat on the back after all the introspection and self-criticism of late.
"This was one of my strongest races of the season," said Hamilton, who lost the lead to world champion Sebastian Vettel before the fourth corner after starting on pole at the Korea International Circuit.
"I'm really satisfied. I believe that withstanding pressure is the mark of a world champion, and I showed that in this race."
However, there was little neither Hamilton nor fourth-placed team-mate Jenson Button could do to stop Red Bull from winning a second consecutive constructors' championship.