Lewis Hamilton will undoubtedly go down as the standout driver in Formula 1's current era, but, with rising stars plus resurgent rivals nipping at his heels, how long can he remain at the top of the tree?
History bestows on us perspective; it permits us to slice and dice events into neat and easily-labelled compartments. The history of grand prix racing is no exception, wafting gracefully from clearly-defined era to clearly-defined era.
But that perspective also irons out the kinks, the blemishes, the mucky reality that makes what seems starkly obvious in retrospect invisible in real time. "Progress isn't always a straight line or a smooth path," as former US president Barack Obama puts it.