was officially credited with having won the 2005 United States Grand Prix but, with only six cars taking the start, even the German appeared underwhelmed by his 'achievement'.
There was no trademark leap onto the podium, and no champagne shower afterwards, as Ferrari
toned down celebrations for its 1-2 result. Schumacher and team-mate Rubens Barrichello
duly lapped the field, with Jordan's Tiago Monteiro taking his first podium in joyless circumstances. Sympathy for the Portuguese rookie, who didn't know whether to celebrate or not before embarking on a one-man acknowledgement of the jeering crowd, was widespread.
Team-mate Narain Karthikeyan and Minardi drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher all racked up their first F1
points after all seven Michelin teams acceded to the tyre company's advice and withdrew at the end of the formation lap.
Indeed, with the exception of a close call right at the start - which could have reduced the field by a third - and another as Schumacher robustly regained the lead from his team-mate at two-thirds distance, the 'action' took place before the lights went out.
Even before the race, there was confusion as to exactly what was going to happen. Would there be a race at all? Would the Michelin runners defy the advice of their tyre supplier and race? Would the FIA
relent and allow a chicane to be built between turns twelve and 13?
As time ticked down towards the scheduled start, and the all-important television companies to be satisfied, it became clear that the latter option wasn't an option at all, with no time for construction, let alone testing. In the end, all 20 cars lined up on the dummy grid, but no-one - least of all the Michelin runners - were willing to divulge anything. Maybe they didn't really know what was going to happen, maybe they just weren't telling...