If F1 continues to put 'the show' before all else, it risks not only alienating the fans.
For quite a few years now, like many other sports, debate has raged over whether Formula One is a sport or entertainment, a show.
On Sunday we were given the answer.
"The whole point of red-flagging, it feels like it was just to put on a show," said Lando Norris. We've gone all the way to Australia, put in so much hard work, drive 56 laps perfectly, and because they try and put on a show... you can just get unlucky and everything can get taken away from you all of a sudden.
"At the end of the day, I know it is a show," he added, "but we're not here to just put on a good show, we want to race each other and be fair, and I don't think it's fair for everyone."
The McLaren driver's comments come just two weeks after Christian Horner described F1 as being like "the Kardashians on wheels".
From the moment Liberty Media bought control of the sport in early 2017 the mission was clear, to improve its popularity, and like the best shows to do this you need a great cast, superb production, an intriguing plot to keep viewers hooked, a first-class format and something for everyone.
The stars were already there in terms of the drivers, now what they needed to focus on was the production and the script.
While the regular fan was used to periods of domination by one team or driver, to entice a new audience what was needed was variety, and so the sport's powers-that-be set about levelling the playing field whilst seeking other means to 'spice up' the show.
A budget cap that had previously almost led to the break-up of the sport was finally accepted without a whimper, and whilst there were a few murmurs of indignation at the string of 'suggestions' coming from the new owner for the most part they were accepted, certainly by the teams.
In terms of placating the existing audience, 'fan-friendly' faces like Ross Brawn and subsequently Stefano Domenicali were brought on board. These were F1 people, F1 was in their DNA, "we can trust them with our sport" the existing audience felt.
But no sooner were they in position, enjoying the vast salaries FOM was willing to pay them, than it was clear that both had crossed over to the dark side.
As he assembled a technical team consisting of many of his old buddies from the various garages, poacher turned gamekeeper Brawn used every opportunity to push the latest gimmick being suggested by his paymasters.
His post-race debriefs never missed an opportunity to use the example of a set of occurrences that might have helped create an exciting race the day before to push the latest idea coming out of F1 Towers, be it the Sprint or reverse grids.
Meanwhile, Stefano became the smiling interface between the suits at F1 Towers, the teams and the fans, insisting that every move the sport made which appeared to be compromising its DNA was actually for the greater good.
With Brawn's retirement we were thankfully spared yesterday's debrief in which he would have sought to tell us that the stoppages on Sunday were necessary and that they had produced a great race.
What is most galling however is Stefano. Had he still been at the helm at Ferrari, his reaction to the penalty meted out to Carlos Sainz would have resulted in all manner of threats, right down to the infamous veto, or maybe even the threat to leave the sport. At the very least, he would have beaten Guenther Steiner to the stewards office to register his outrage at the unfairness of it all.
Of course, Sunday's events are what Drive to Survive is all about, and one can only guess at the number of pregnant pauses there will be when the DTS commentary team relives the drama when Season 6 airs next year.
If nothing else we have seen that lessons have not been learned since that infamous night in December 2021. Then again, why would they.
The sight of Michael Masi in the Melbourne paddock had the usual suspects up in arms, and now there is talk that his successor, Niels Wittich might soon face a similar fate.
We still believe, as we did that night, that Masi, though he made the incorrect decisions, was acting on orders, orders that came from the very top.
On Sunday, Haas' protest of the result, namely the decision to change the order before the final restart, was thrown out because time was running out and Wittich had to make a decision, fast.
Fact is, race directors are not there to make the rules, they are there, much like police officers, to apply the already agreed rules.
We have previously seen races end under the safety car, and while it is not satisfying - just like the decision to start behind the safety car at the merest hint of rain - it is the rule, and should not be open to change on the day simply because it will spice up the show.
Yes, that final lap at the Yas Marina in December 2021 was spectacular, it made the hairs on one's back stand on end. But the fact is it should not have happened.
And as for Sunday's decision to revert to a previous order, whilst punishing a driver for an incident that essentially never happened...
The 1976 movie Network, is famous for the scenes in which a Messianic TV newsman (Peter Finch) tells his audience to go to their windows, open them and shout "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"
While one can understand F1 fans of a certain vintage feeling similar sentiments, the movie comes to mind because at times like Sunday and Abu Dhabi 2021, one can imagine the race director sitting at his desk while a screaming, ratings ravenous Faye Dunaway type from F1 Towers is screaming instructions in his ear... "Stop the race", "Penalise him!", "Let him catch up!"
There is no disputing that the most exiting parts of a race weekend are qualifying, particularly Q3 and the start.
Consequently, almost from the outset, F1 Towers has seen this as a means to improve the show, after all, why settle for one qualifying session when you can have two, why settle for one start when you can have two... three... four.
And as for those practice sessions, bin 'em, eh Stef?
Despite the fact that Baku is just under four weeks away the format has yet to be officially announced, a situation that under the old management would have had team bosses raging.
Indeed, for a sport/show that makes so much of its history, F1 Towers and the teams never missing an opportunity to celebrate a milestone, those men who made the sport what it is will be spinning in their graves at the sight of what F1 has now become.
F1 has been sacrificed on the altar of viewing figures, social media likes, clickbait headlines and talk around the coffee machine, and sadly, the teams, broadcasters and the media have been complicit.
Indeed, while Toto Wolff has criticised the number of red flag and called for clarity, contrarian as ever, Christian Horner has said the decision on Sunday was understandable, "the right thing to do", though one shudders to think how he would have reacted had either of his drivers been affected.
Ahead of Sunday's race we were informed that a cricketer enjoying the moments ahead of the race with a grid walkabout, had followed F1 "since Drive to Survive", the 2023 equivalent of Elizabeth Hurley's infamous "I'm going over there to watch the take-off" ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.
Bernie Ecclestone admitted that he had targeted F1 at an older, more affluent audience, those likely to buy yachts, expensive watches and cars as opposed to T-shirts and caps.
Under Liberty, F1 has aimed for a younger, much more diverse audience, and while this is great, and much needed - it cannot be at the cost of the sport's DNA.
The likes of Stefano need to remember why they fell in love with the sport in the first place, what made them not only want to follow it but to be involved, and if they are honest it will be a million miles away from what we witnessed on Sunday and what F1 Towers has planned for the future.
On Saturday, while talking about the forthcoming Sprint at Baku, Max Verstappen said the concept is at odds with the sport's DNA, hinting that further tinkering would cause him to reconsider his future in F1.
A lot of drivers were clearly very angry on Sunday evening, and if F1 continues to put the show before all else it could find that a number of its stars share similar thoughts to the two-time world champion.
Indeed, we hear whispers that despite what we see and what we are told, deep down a number of the teams are far from happy with the direction the sport is taking.