"Honestly, I'll take it one step at a time," Lewis Hamilton had to say, avoiding complacency, but the Formula One title race looks to be run for another year.
Hamilton's advantage over Sebastian Vettel stands at 67 points with just four races remaining, while Mercedes are 78 clear of Ferrari. If it is not quite all over until the fat lady sings, then she is at least warming up her vocal chords.
The talk following Hamilton's win at the Russian Grand Prix centred around the team's decision to ask Valtteri Bottas to sacrifice a first victory of the season for his team-mate. This time, the focus is on the ease of a second consecutive one-two in Japan.
For, just as last season, rivals Ferrari have faded horribly.
Vettel won four of the first 11 races in 2017 - as many as Hamilton - before recording just one more victory in the remainder of the campaign, as the Mercedes man kicked on and cruised to the title.
This time around, since Vettel won the British Grand Prix to claim an eight-point lead, Hamilton has come out on top in six of the last seven races - including the most recent four.
As Hamilton has found his best form again, Ferrari have made errors with alarming regularity.
In six of the seven races this year where Vettel has failed to reach the podium - including in Germany, two weeks on from Silverstone, where he retired from pole - Hamilton has won. The Briton's ruthless efficiency continues to dog his rival, punishing each and every mistake.
And in Japan, in the last chance saloon, with no room for error, Ferrari endured a horror weekend.
Vettel qualified only eighth fastest after being sent out on intermediate tyres before switching back to slicks ahead of a downpour in Q3.
The German climbed to fourth in pursuit of Hamilton on Sunday but then made contact with Max Verstappen, with the two drivers blaming one another as Vettel slid back to 19th. In the circumstances, a sixth-placed finish represented a solid return.
But once more, it is too late for excuses. Vettel surely will not catch Hamilton; Ferrari again look to be no match for four-time defending champions Mercedes.
Given the rest of the grid will reshuffle come the end of the year, with Ferrari among those to change their driving line-up, few would bet against the ever-consistent Mercedes dominating again in 2019.
The German outfit have strolled to the title even without Bottas recording a single win.
Ferrari may have been frustrated by Verstappen's role in this latest farce - he hindered Kimi Raikkonen, too - but they have been outclassed all year long and must find a response fast before another season of masterful Mercedes racing is upon us.
|WATCH: Chargers top Chiefs on dramatic two-point conversion in final seconds|
|Suns owner Sarver committed to keeping team in Phoenix|
|Chargers WR Allen leaves with injury after near-spectacular catch|
|Socceroos not giving up on Mooy for Asian Cup|
|Cooper says Raiders owner wanted to trade him to Cowboys|
|Pochettino jokes Levy is ´worried´ about losing him|
|Barcelona would welcome Morata – Alba|
|Toure not a priority for West Ham – Pellegrini|
|Koscielny no certainty to face Southampton, says Emery|
|We gifted the game – AC Milan boss Gattuso furious after Europa League exit|
|My season starts now, says Koscielny|
|Cipriani ´at peace´ with latest England snub|
|Laporte: Deschamps must have personal reasons for France snub|
|Morata injury not too serious, claims Chelsea boss Sarri|
|Hansen to leave: All Blacks coach returning focus to World Cup defence|
|I want to fight the champion! - Joshua reiterates Wilder in April ambition|
|Gundogan glad to leave Christmas holidays behind|
|I know how it feels and it hurts - Gundogan on Sterling abuse|
|Celtic 1 Red Bull Salzburg 2: Scottish champions through despite defeat|
|Olympiacos 3 AC Milan 1: Rossoneri crash out of Europa League|
|Arsenal 1 Qarabag 0: Lacazette on target as Saka shines|
|Hansen to leave: All Blacks will take time to name replacement|
|Chelsea condemn alleged anti-Semitic chanting from fans|
|Hansen to leave: The best Opta facts from New Zealand coach´s tenure|
|Hansen to leave: Five contenders to be the next All Blacks coach|
|Hansen to leave: Highs and highs of his All Blacks reign|
|Hansen to leave All Blacks after World Cup|
|Rapid Vienna 1 Rangers 0: Late Ljubicic winner sends Gerrard´s men out|
|Beckham continues to miss Giants practice with quad injury|
|Vidi 2 Chelsea 2: Giroud spares Sarri´s side in lacklustre draw|
|Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille fixtures among latest Ligue 1 cancellations|
|Santos turn to ex-Argentina boss Sampaoli|
|Muller could miss Champions League last 16 after Tagliafico kick|
|Home hope Bekker out in front at Alfred Dunhill Championship|
|Van Bommel in touch with Robben over PSV reunion|
|Pinarello chief confident over Team Sky future|
|Stade make Ospreys tickets free in tribute to teenager|
|WRC great Loeb seals Hyundai switch|
|Madrid rumours better than sack talk, says Pochettino|
|Nadal to join Federer at 2019 Laver Cup|
|Prigoda smashes world record, Hosszu dethroned in Hangzhou|
|Former Juve CEO Marotta takes over at Inter|
|Glenn to stand down as FA boss next year|
|Muller apologises to Tagliafico for kick to the head|
|Pereira pleads for more Manchester United chances|
|Griffin hails ´phenomenal´ Lowry after Warriors demolition|
|I´ve played with Zidane and Henry, but Messi is something else – Pires|
|Dragons forward Jack de Belin charged with sexual assault|
|Durant: Raptors are the real deal|
|Cocu bids farewell to Fenerbahce after ´mutual agreement´ is made over October sacking|
|Australia unchanged for historic Perth Test|
|Champions League draw: The possible last-16 ties|
|Southee happy to be back on home soil|
|I wouldn´t swap Dembele for Neymar – Pires|
|Canelo ready to risk heavy weather against Fielding|
|Raptors upstage Warriors, Davis leads Pelicans with 44 points|
|India skipper Kohli excited by green Perth wicket|
|PSG? I haven´t decided my future yet – De Jong|
|Marcelo: Real Madrid don´t have attitude problem|
|India pair Ashwin, Rohit ruled out of second Test|
|Kovac: Ajax-Bayern draw was amazing|
|Sims re-signs with Dragons until 2022|
|Derrius Guice injury update: Redskins RB (knee) has rehab setback, undergoes 3 more procedures|
|Emery: Arsenal could sign defender in January|
|Phillies sign McCutchen to three-year deal|
|O´Neal thinks his Lakers teams could ´easily´ beat Warriors|
|A-League to add two clubs by 2020|
|Curry says he was ´obviously joking´ about moon landing comments|
|Now the beautiful part starts – Ronaldo ready for Champions League knockout stage|
|Bayern have a lot more potential – Lewandowski not satisfied despite top spot|