Ricciardo breaks Mercedes’ grip with maiden win at F1 Canadian GP

  We finally have a winner other than the Mercedes AMG F1 Team at last weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, Round 7 of the Formula One World Championships. Daniel Ricciardo got a thumping maiden victory at the Gilles Villeneuve track, finishing four seconds ahead of Nico Rosberg and a further second away from team mate Sebastien Vettel. Rosberg’s colleague Lewis Hamilton suffered a brake overheating and retired on the 46th lap.

A day prior to raceday, the two Mercedes of Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton had booked the top two spot in qualifying. Vettel and the Williams of Valtteri Bottas lined up in row two, followed by Felipe Massa and Ricciardo in row number three. Rows four and five had Fernando Alonso, Jean-Eric Vergne, Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen.

Mercedes drivers control the pace at the start of the Canadian GP

On to the main event, the grid was led by Rosberg at the start of the race. A huge Marussia accident brought out the safety car for about eight of 70 laps. Rosberg continued to lead the field as soon as the SC peeled off into the pitlane. Hamilton then stole second position from Vettel on lap 10 and next went after his colleague in the lead Mercedes. By lap 13, Ricciardo had worked his way up to fifth place after he managed to dispatch Massa’s Williams.

Hamilton led the proceedings when his team mate pitted for new tyres on lap 19 during the first series of stops. But, the order became Rosberg and Hamilton once more when Hamilton rejoined the track after his stop on the next lap. Rosberg held the top position until the mid-race distance, with Hamilton giving hard chase.

After the second stops, Ricciardo jumped in front of his 4-time champion team mate into ninth place. The two Mercedes at the head of the order had a much slower pace compared to previous laps, could it be mechanical issues? Both Mercedes were losing 2 seconds per lap, which gave the chasing pack a glimmer of hope. Massa closed in on Hamilton in a move to claim second on lap 42. Rosberg stopped for soft tyres on lap 45 and retook the track 3rd behind Hamilton and Massa. When Hamilton pitted, Massa actually led the race for a good few laps. Soon, a bizarre series of incidents forced Hamilton out of the race; first, he rejoined the track second behind Massa, then he ran wide and lost second to Rosberg. Not long after on lap 47, smoke came off the back of his Silver Arrow as he dropped to eighth. He then crawled back to the pitlane and retired.

Twenty laps to go, Rosberg in the lead was pursued by Sergio Perez, with Ricciardo in close proximity. Vettel and Massa were next in line in fourth and fifth as the stage was set for a thrilling finale. Massa tried to pass Vettel on lap 64, but Vettel took up an effective defensive tactic. Ricciardo successfully overtook Perez at turn 1 on lap 66. The Red Bull driver next gained ground on the race leader on the next couple of laps and made his move at the final turn on lap 68 for the race lead. Vettel went ahead of Perez for third on the penultimate as the Force India faced an apparent technical issue. On the final lap, Massa hit the rear of Perez’s car as both Williams and Force India cars slammed into the barriers. A second safety car period ended the 2014 Canadian GP with Ricciardo on top for the first time; Rosberg and Vettel were of course on the podium as well. Button, Nico Hulkenberg, Alonso, Bottas, Jean-Eric Vergne, Kevin Magnussen and Raikkonen rounded off the top ten.

Rosberg gave an account on his race, “I had a tough start but I was able to defend in the first few corners and fight against Lewis (Hamilton). The race went smoothly for a while then both cars suddenly lost the MGU-K system and a lot of power which was really tough. Then I lost some time in the second pit stop which let Lewis jump me and I was struggling to cool the rear brakes down so it was all happening. Towards the end of the race, I tried to defend against Sergio (Perez) which was fine but Daniel (Ricciardo) was too fast on the straights with much more power than I had available and he was able to get past.”

“I was so happy to hear that I was in P2! They are important points for me in the championship, so it was a tough but ultimately good day,” he added.

With the win, Ricciardo jumped to third with 79 points. Rosberg still leads the Drivers’ standings with 140 points and Hamilton is second with 118 points. In constructors’, Mercedes have a massive lead with 258 points, followed by RBR with 139 points and Ferrari with 87 points.

Ricciardo and Vettel combined for the first double podium finish for RBR, the Australian beamed, “I’m a grand prix winner! I think it still seems a bit surreal to be honest, just because it all happened so quickly at the end. I was third for a while and then it all happened in a really exciting fashion. Once I got past Perez I knew I just had to drive clean and get in Rosberg’s DRS zone and, from then on, it was just awesome. Finishing under the safety car made it a bit weird, but I wanted to make sure the two drivers who were in the accident were okay before I started celebrating.”

The circus next heads to the Austrian Grand Prix at the Spielberg track from 20 – 22 June.

2014 Formula One Canadian Grand Prix results

1 Daniel Ricciardo RBR 1:39:12.830
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes +4.2 secs
3 Sebastian Vettel RBR +5.2 secs
4 Jenson Button McLaren +11.7 secs
5 Nico Hulkenberg Force India +12.8 secs
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari +14.8 secs
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams +23.5 secs
8 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso +28.0 secs
9 Kevin Magnussen McLaren +29.2 secs
10 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari +53.6 secs
11 Sergio Perez Force India Accident
12 Felipe Massa Williams Accident
13 Adrian Sutil Sauber +1 Lap

Drivers standings
1 Nico Rosberg 140
2 Lewis Hamilton 118
3 Daniel Ricciardo 79
4 Fernando Alonso 69
5 Sebastian Vettel 60
6 Nico Hulkenberg 57
7 Jenson Button 43
8 Valtteri Bottas 40
9 Kevin Magnussen 23
10 Sergio Perez 20
11 Felipe Massa 18
12 Kimi Räikkönen 18
13 Romain Grosjean 8
14 Jean-Eric Vergne 8
15 Daniil Kvyat 4
16 Jules Bianchi 2

Constructors’ rankings
1 Mercedes 258
2 RBR 139
3 Ferrari 87
4 Force India 77
5 McLaren 66
6 Williams 58
7 Toro Rosso 12
8 Lotus 8
9 Marussia 2