That allowed Kovalainen to inherit the race lead – and with Raikkonen backing off to look after his engine in the wake of his team-mate's ill-fortune, Glock's new-found second place was all of a sudden looking rather more secure.
With Kovalainen reeling off the final couple of laps to take the chequered flag for his breakthrough grand prix success, Glock held on for a superb and extremely popular runner-up spot, with Raikkonen salvaging something from his weekend at least in third.
Alonso fended Hamilton off to the line to seal fourth spot, with Piquet backing his team-mate up in sixth for only his third points' finish of an ever-improving rookie campaign in the uppermost echelon, and Trulli and Kubica rounding out the top eight.
Outside of the points in the final reckoning were a frustrated Webber in ninth, followed home by Nick Heidfeld – who paid the price race-long for having been baulked in qualifying – Coulthard, Jenson Button, Nakajima, Nico Rosberg, Fisichella, Barrichello, Massa classified an unrepresentative 17th and the luckless Bourdais.
The main story, though, was neither that of Massa's unfortunate loss nor of the get-out-of-jail-free card which Hamilton had been handed as he incredibly extended his championship lead – but instead that of a man who may have had to wait some nine races for his second podium finish with McLaren, but when that podium finally came grabbed it with both hands and embraced the winners' trophy up on the top step to signal the blossoming of a new star – Heikki Kovalainen.
To see the race result in full, click here