Whatever happened during Sunday's inaugural grand prix of Singapore, the race was destined to occupy a special place in Formula One history. For the first time ever, the teams and drivers would compete under floodlights, with all the anticipation, uncertainty, and debate that preceded this watershed weekend.
For the uneventful first 15 laps, it seemed that the novelty factor was all that the event had to offer. With Ferrari's Felipe Massa putting on another master class at the head of the field, and the rest of the pack struggling to overtake on the constricted and bumpy layout, the result looked a foregone conclusion - much like the season's other debut event at Valencia.
Felipe Massa extends his lead in Singapore © XPB
It's a cliche to claim that a single incident changed the entire complexion of a grand prix. But there's no other way to aptly describe Nelsinho Piquet's accident on lap 15. Suddenly, the wow factor of night racing was forgotten, instantly replaced by the excitement and confusion of the established race order being turned topsy-turvy.
Felipe Massa was the most spectacular loser from the incident, although neither Piquet's accident nor the ensuing safety car period can be blamed. Ferrari and Massa had already suffered problems with the pit light system in Valencia, yet persisted with it.