Perhaps it is humanity's intrinsic desire to seek order and find patterns in the random chaos of real world events. Perhaps it is because, in a highly-engineered endeavour like Formula One racing, such precision parts should fit and work together unerringly to an established and predictable standard.
Heikki Kovalainen at the Hungaroring © LAT
Whatever the cause, observers of the sport have always made assumptions and been confident that those projections would hold good. Senna would be fastest over a single lap in qualifying, Schumacher would prevail in the rain, Jean Alesi would pick the wrong team at the wrong time, and a particular driver or team would win a grand prix because it was 'their' track.
If there was any doubt that the 2008 season has rendered such assumptions unwise, then Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix was the clincher. One by one, the boldest and safest expectations were sent tumbling like ninepins by a field that seemed collectively intent on achieving the unexpected.
It all started routinely enough, with McLaren overhauling Ferrari's promising advantage during the opening practice session, just as expected. With Lewis Hamilton at the top of his form and McLaren locking out the front row on a circuit where overtaking is nigh impossible, the pre-race assumptions (in this, the most predictable of races) all pointed to one overwhelmingly likely winner. And it wasn't Heikki Kovalainen.