It was always believed that the North American leg of the 2006 Formula One season might provide a turning point in both championships. Yet few would have thought that Ferrari's success in the US GP at Indianapolis wouldn't be just a one-off, but rather the start of a streak. It hasn't resulted in just a turning point, it's shuffled the entire deck.
Michael Schumacher (Ferrari 248 F1) and Fernando Alonso (Renault R26) in the 2006 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim © LAT
Prior to Indianapolis, the field had settled into the sort of predictability that marks most F1 seasons. Renault dominated, Ferrari got the occasional look in, McLaren were just fast enough to keep their rivals honest, and Williams, Toyota and Honda struggled down the field.
By the end of Sunday's German Grand Prix, it was apparent just how meaningless the previous form book had become. Ferrari were now dominant, Honda were back in the frame for potential podium finishes, McLaren and Williams had both managed to outstrip the Renaults on sheer race pace, and Toyota's Jarno Trulli might have followed suit if not for a blown engine that dropped him to the back of the grid.
It is the most thorough shake-up of the form book in recent memory, greater even than the re-emergence of Bridgestone following the FIA's penalty against Michelin in 2003. It is also a fortunate coincidence that events have conspired to throw both of this year's championships wide open again.