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2014 Canadian F1 GP: Daniel Ricciardo Breaks Through For First Win Photo:
 
 
Peter Anderson | Jun, 09 2014 | 4 Comments

DANIEL RICCIARDO WINS CANADIAN F1 GP

Australian Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo took a dramatic breakthrough win at the Canadian Grand Prix, denying the ailing Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and his hard-charging teammate, Sebastian Vettel.

The race was full of action and ended under the control of the safety car after a scary crash at turn one between Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez.

 

PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING

Ferrari had their increasingly common good start in practice, but by the end of FP3 had faded as Mercedes asserted their authority.

Williams, who had been hoping for a good un on the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve, did just that, regularly figuring in the top five.

Esteban Gutierrez did not have a good run, crashing in FP3 and ruling himself out of qualifying. Mercedes made it yet another front-row lockout, with Rosberg leading from Hamilton, this time without controversy.

Sebastian Vettel went out in Q3 hungry for a result and managed third, the German saying he took some risks to get there. Ricciardo ended the session sixth, and was unhappy with his "scrappy" lap.

 

RACE

Race day was bright and sunny, with a track temperature of 50 degrees but the drivers frantically weaved on the formation lap to maintain tyre temperature.

Hamilton got a great start but Rosberg was able to hold through turn one. Vettel picked up a place into second as thes second Mercedes shuffled back rather than cross the grass.

Bottas raced back past a fast-starting Felipe Massa but the flurry was interrupted by a Safety Car.

Max Chilton got his Marussia sideways at turn five and had the tremendous misfortune of hitting his teammate Jules Bianchi.

Bianchi's car climbed over Chilton's front tyre and slammed into the barrier, shedding bodywork all over the track.

Both drivers walked away unharmed, a shaken Bianchi told his team he was ok while still in the car.

After a six lap interlude, the race finally restarted on lap eight. Rosberg leapt away from second-placed Vettel, with Hamilton also seemingly off his game and too far back to do anything.

With DRS activated, Hamilton breezed past the Red Bull of Vettel and set off to bridge the 1.7 second gap to Rosberg.

Ricciardo began to build a challenge to the Williams of Felipe Massa. Both of the British team's drivers were dealing with graining rear tyres as they ran together in fourth and fifth. Bottas soon stopped for the harder compound.

Vettel pitted on lap 16, as did Jean Eric Vergne and Felipe Massa. Massa ended up a long way back behind Kvyat. Alonso pitted a lap later, responding to Jean Eric Vergne, coming out in front by a matter of centimetres.

Ricciardo's stop saw him fall to ninth, still behind the Williams of Bottas. Raikkonen putted on lap 18, coming out between Kvyat and Button.

The Force Indias marched ever forward as the stops continued, Perez reaching third and Hulkenberg fourth before Rosberg pitted on lap 19. Ricciardo lost out in the stops, dropping to seventh.

Hamilton set to work to try and leapfrog Rosberg. The German didn't help himself with a huge moment at turn five on his out-lap. Hamilton pitted at the end of lap 19 but his hard work was to no avail, with Rosberg maintaining his lead due to a slightly slower stop than he might have liked.

By lap 21, Vettel was right up behind the rear wing of the one-stopping Hulkenberg - the German needed to make headway as he was on two stops, jammed up behind the long-running Mercedes-powered Force Indias was going to ruin his race.

Vettel got by on lap 23 at the hairpin but went too deep, Hulkenberg driving past again.

Hamilton resumed his toil, setting fastest laps in his pursuit of Rosberg and got into DRS range on lap 24.

Kamui Kobayashi had yet another spin for the weekend at turn one, but this time it was a car failure on his Caterham.

He joined Ericsson in retirement, a shame as this race could have been an opportunity to get back past Marussia in the standings.

Rosberg had a big lock-up into the final chicane and instead of trying to make the corner - and perhaps lose his place to Hamilton - he instead got back on the throttle and skipped across the chicane, gaining more than half a second.

The stewards investigated the excursion, but there was no action, with the caveat he was on his final warning.

On lap 31, Sebastian Vettel found himself with Valtteri Bottas on his tail, the Force India ahead holding him back.

Perez pitted on lap 35 to swap his super-soft for soft tyres. He had certainly done the damage Force India were hoping for, holding Vettel back and blunting the Red Bull's chassis advantage with low downforce drag races.

Bottas pitted on lap 36, getting out from behind Vettel with the hope of jumping the German's RB10, but he ended up in twelfth behind Button.

Hamilton complained of losing power on lap 37 as he began to fall away from Rosberg by a few tenths a few laps earlier. Vettel's stop on the same lap didn't yield the desired result, the world champion coming out behind Perez again.

Ricciardo pitted on lap 38, a lightning fast stop of 2.5 seconds and putting him out in front of Vettel.

By lap 39 it appeared that both Mercedes were in trouble. Both cars began to slow - dropping almost four seconds to the cars behind and about 20 km/h through the speed traps.

The loss settled to two seconds a lap, a seemingly mortal wound to their victory hopes.

The problem was with the ERS-K, the system formerly known as KERS - the change in the rules this year means the teams rely on this system a lot more for braking, so reduced the size of the rear brakes. For Hamilton this proved terminal.

Straight after pitting, Kimi Raikkonen spun at the hairpin on lap 41, dropping four places.

Hulkenberg pitted on lap 42, releasing the train behind him. He came back out in front of Vaterri Bottas.

Rosberg pitted on lap 44, putting Hamilton into the lead - but a combination of a slow stop and a fast moving Massa, the championship leader ended up third. Hamilton stopped the next time around with a quicker stop.

Hamilton ended up second and Felipe Massa - incredibly - now led the Canadian Grand Prix. Hamilton made a mess of the hairpin and that allowed Rosberg through. He tried to re-pass at the final chicane but overshot the same way Rosberg did earlier.

Hamilton allowed Rosberg by but his rear brakes were gone as a result of the ERS-K failure, the Briton retiring on lap 48. Rosberg was told to push his brake bias forward to save the overloaded rear brakes.

Massa pitted on lap 48, effectively ending his victory hopes. Perez was in the mix, too, less than a second behind the Mercedes, with the Red Bulls right behind on lap 52.

Rosberg kept Perez at bay, with the gap yo-yo-ing around depending on the sector. Ricciardo was growing very impatient behind the Force India. Another impatient driver was Felipe Massa, demanding team orders to get by Bottas.

Massa didn't need them in the end as Bottas went deep in the hairpin. Massa swept by and then passed Hulkenberg at the chicane with the help of DRS.

With fewer than ten laps to go, the top five were covered by just two seconds, the closest race in decades without late-race safety car intervention to create a bunched field.

Massa got beside Vettel on lap 64 down the back straight - they arrived at the chicance side-by-side, but Massa was on the outside and had also neglected to open the DRS.

Ricciardo made life difficult for Perez and finally got him at turn one with a sensational, opprtunistic move.

Vettel and Massa now had to clear Perez as Ricciardo took off after Rosberg. Perez's rear brakes were gone but he still kept the Red Bull and Williams behind.

Ricciardo got the gap down to seven tenths to the leading Mercedes and he took the lead on lap 68, the crowd roaring their approval.

The battle raged behind Perez, with Vettel nailing the pass before the final chicane.

Massa then ruined a persistent race for Perez, clipping the left rear of the Mexican driver and tearing off his own right front tyre in the process.

Perez slid to the right and slammed into the tyre barriers on the inside of the turn one and two loop. About twenty metres further along, Massa had a similarly terrible impact.

Both drivers walked away, Massa predictably blaming Perez.

Daniel Ricciardo, from sixth on the grid, won the Canadian Grand Prix behind the safety car after a measured drive made harder by his car threatening to overheat, which was eventually pinned as the cause for Mercedes' woes.

On the slow-down lap, his only response to Christian Horner's congratulations was, "Wow." Vettel came home third and generously embraced his Australian teammate in parc ferme. Nico Rosberg finished a very lucky second.

After the race, a still-stunned Ricciardo found some more words.

"It still is a bit surreal I think, and just really cool. It is not that we were leading the whole race, it is not like I had time to understand that I was going to win, that is why it is taking a while to comprehend in my head."

Formula 1 returns in two weeks for the Austrian Grand Prix.

 

CANADIAN F1 GP RESULTS

  1. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull-Renault - 1h39m12.830s
  2. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes +4.236s
  3. Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull-Renault +5.247s
  4. Jenson Button - McLaren-Mercedes +11.755s
  5. Nico Hulkenberg - Force India-Mercedes +12.843s
  6. Fernando Alonso - Ferrari +14.869s
  7. Valtteri Bottas - Williams-Mercedes +23.578s
  8. Jean-Eric Vergne - Toro Rosso-Renault +28.026s
  9. Kevin Magnussen - McLaren-Mercedes +29.254s
  10. Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari +53.678s
  11. Sergio Perez - Force India-Mercedes -1 lap
  12. Felipe Massa - Williams-Mercedes -1 lap
  13. Adrian Sutil - Sauber-Ferrari -1 lap
  14. Esteban Gutierrez - Sauber-Ferrari -6 laps

DNF

  • Romain Grosjean - Lotus-Renault 58 laps
  • Daniil Kvyat - Toro Rosso-Renault 47 laps
  • Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes 45 laps
  • Kamui Kobayashi - Caterham-Renault 22 laps
  • Pastor Maldonado - Lotus-Renault 21 laps
  • Marcus Ericsson - Caterham-Renault 6 laps
  • Max Chilton - Marussia-Ferrari 0 laps
  • Jules Bianchi - Marussia-Ferrari 0 laps

 
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