A betting man would have received very favourable odds on neither Michael Schumacher nor Fernando Alonso winning either the Hungarian or Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix. Predicting Honda's Jenson Button for victory in Hungary would have seen those odds lengthen considerably.
Felipe Massa's maiden victory in Turkey was more in line with the form book. Nevertheless, especially in the context of a tense and tightening championship battle, few would have foreseen a Ferrari victory for anybody other than Michael Schumacher at this stage of the season.
Tonio Liuzzi abandons his car after spinning in the Turkish GP © LAT
Massa can thank Toro Rosso's Tonio Liuzzi for the victory. Prior to Liuzzi's spin - caused by mechanical malfunction rather than driver error - at Turn 1 on lap 12, Ferrari were well set for another orchestrated 1-2 finish, as at Indianapolis. Once again, Massa's lead and pace in the early laps would be nullified by the inevitable order to drop behind Michael Schumacher and serve as a buffer between his team leader and championship rival Fernando Alonso in third place.
The safety car period following Liuzzi's spin changed the race fundamentally. For Fernando Alonso, it will seem like long overdue justice. Twice in recent races (Canada and Hungary) he'd seen commanding leads wiped out by safety car periods. At last, the safety car breaks worked in his favour, allowing him to leapfrog Schumacher in the ensuing pitstops. It also scotched Ferrari's plans of demoting Massa to second place in order to favour Schumacher's championship prospects.