The European Grand Prix at Valencia has traditionally been one of the more tedious stops on the F1 calendar, but all that changed in 2012, when the year's unpredictability continued to the Spanish city.
While the event did not provide an eighth different winner, despite the efforts of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen, it certainly through up more contenders than most for the award of driver of the day.
Fernando Alonso, as the first driver to win two races in 2012, cut an emotional figure as he celebrated with his team and the Spanish fans, while title rivals Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton had very different reasons for tears after being taken out of the race through no fault of their own.
Michael Schumacher, meanwhile, returned to the podium for the first time since his return to F1, and 99 races after his last appearance in the top three. Sandwiched between him and Alonso was Raikkonen, who again showed the potential of the Lotus in warm conditions and race trim.
The Finn's team-mate, Grosjean, had already shown the team's hand, providing the best opposition to the fleeing Vettel, but both drivers would ultimately had their afternoon cut short by alternator failure.
If Alonso's rise from eleventh to first was impressive, perhaps more so was Mark Webber's from 19th to fourth. The Aussie ran in tandem with Schumacher through the final third of the race, both benefiting from later pit-stops to still have useful tyres under them in the final laps.
Force India has both drivers in contention for this week's award, with Nico Hulkenberg taking a season's best fifth and Paul di Resta seventh after a one-stop strategy only began to unravel in the final few laps.
That allowed Nico Rosberg to snatch sixth in the other Mercedes, the young German passing both di Resta and Jenson Button on the final lap.
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