F1 and the FIA would no doubt counter such an argument, but whatever the reason, we have at least the kind of confrontation even Hamilton claimed he was looking forward to, perhaps unsurprising given he has had it all his own way for far too long.
It also made you wonder about his desire and motivation to continue beyond this season bearing in mind he only signed a one-year contract with Mercedes.
All sportsmen need to have a fire lit under them, particularly when they dominate their sport, and certainly to the extent Hamilton has in recent years. Once it starts to become too easy the incentive begins to fade.
You could sense that after what unfolded in Bahrain Hamilton's passion was burning again as he won a race that arguably he had no right to.
It was clear after qualifying Red Bull and Verstappen had the faster car. Yes, Mercedes had made gains in between the three-day pre-season test at the same circuit that had concluded 13 days previously and that hour-long session, but not to the extent they would have wished or hoped for.
The gap between Verstappen and Hamilton on the front row was almost four-tenths of a second. On true pace alone, rarely seen over the past seven years.