While Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes will be aiming to hunt down early season front runners McLaren in Shanghai, we should remember there is an equally dramatic five-way battle going on in the midfield pack.
The team to beat is Sauber, mainly thanks to some clever pit wall strategies and equally, two stunning drives from Sergio Perez. In Australia, a penalty for an early gearbox change meant he had to start at the back of the grid, yet undaunted the Mexican fought his way to eighth place.
In Malaysia, fortuitous timing of the tyre stops on the rain-soaked track played as much to Perez' advantage as it did for race-winner Alonso.
At one moment it even seemed as if the Sauber driver might even challenge the double champion's Ferrari for victory.
However there are a few doubts whether Sauber might be able to maintain this pace. The car is clearly short of sponsor deals and without that funding, their development lead may stagnate.
The Lotus team too is having a turbulent time on the commercial front, as the Proton-owned Lotus Cars Group last week announced its withdrawal of title sponsorship. It seems that the sports car manufacturer's ambitious plans are no longer endorsed by the Malaysian parent company. So where does that leave the F1 team?
In pretty good shape, with some good sponsors outside of Lotus, they tell us.
The team's owner, Genii Capital is even sufficiently bullish to hint that they might wish to make an offer to buy the loss-making sports car maker outright.
It could be one reason why the cars continue to carry the Lotus name even though they are no longer being paid to do so.
On the track, certainly the Lotus Renault car shows real promise.
Raikkonen's return with seventh place in Australia and fifth in Sepang, certainly looks a lot more convincing than Schumacher's.
Meanwhile, returning rookie Romain Grosjean has shown spectacular qualifying pace. What might happen if he can avoid hitting things on the opening lap, only time will tell.
Force India, who looked good in testing, but have so far disappointed in the races.
It might be that the team is paying the penalty for throwing so many resources into continuing to develop last year's car late into the season, as they battled to sixth place in the constructors' championship.
It is hard too, not to wonder whether Vijay Mallya's other financial woes, including his problems with Kingfisher Airways, are also impacting on the team's development budgets. Time will tell.
Steve Slater is an F1 commentator on STAR Sports