Sunday's 2007 European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring circuit will go down as a rich source of material for F1 trivia buffs, with the chaotic race inviting questions such as "Which F1 driver qualified stone last in his debut GP, but led the field by 19 seconds after just two laps?"
The answer, of course, is Markus Winkelhock. Although even the Spyker debutant's remarkable feat paled in comparison to the roller coaster fortunes that McLaren's Lewis Hamilton experienced.
Lewis Hamilton slides into the first turn gravel trap © LAT
The difficulty lies in formulating a question that adequately sums up Hamilton's first ever F1 finish off the podium. "Which F1 rookie ended a record string of podium finishes by being driven out of a gravel trap in an ambulance on Saturday, lifted out of another gravel trap by a crane on Sunday, passing the entire field behind the Safety Car, and then taking one tyre stop too early and another too late?" might suffice. Although even that doesn't tell the full story of Hamilton's weekend.
It was inevitable that the McLaren star's clockwork consistency would be disrupted sooner rather than later. Even Michael Schumacher at his daunting best was unable to maintain a string of podium finishes indefinitely. What could not have been predicted was how many blows of fate it would take to down Hamilton - and how he would doggedly and unexpectedly bounce back each time. If the young Briton's rivals had hoped that he would fold the moment that luck turned against him, they know better now.