Even if you know who won, even if you know what the podium looked like, and even if you already saw the last lap crash in the highlights – you absolutely owe it to yourself to watch the 2014 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Canada, because they’ll be talking about this one for years!
It looked like it was going to be a runaway victory for Mercedes, again, after yesterday’s qualifying session. It almost was, with the Mercedes AMG Hybrid driving duo of Rosberg and Hamilton pulling out a 25 second lead over 3rd place. It was not to be, however. Both Mercedes encountered issues with their hybrid powertrains that cut their top speed advantage, leaving them vulnerable to attack by Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo.
It was Ricciardo who won in the end, after having closed to the 25 second gap to Rosberg’s Mercedes and pulling a slick move under braking to take his maiden F1 win.
During the race, Ricciardo’s 4-time World Champion teammate, Sebastian Vettel, complained about the pit strategy that saw him pop back on track behind Ricciardo. The radio message back from the pits sounded like “Ricciardo will tear up his tires, save something for the end,” initially, but – now that I think about it – actually sounded more like “pass the torch, Seb, and don’t crash out both cars while you’re at it”.
Torch passed, then.
Once Ricciardo had got past Perez’ struggling Force India Mercedes (which was also having hybrid issues), it became a 3-way race for 3rd spot between Perez, Vettel, and a hard-charging Felipe Massa in a Williams with significantly fresher tires than those ahead of him. The result of the difference in cornering speeds between Massa’s car and the rest should have made them easy work for the Brazilian. Instead, Massa crashed into Perez, nearly collected Vettel, and ruined everyone’s Grand Prix of Canada (especially the Mexicans’).
From Vettel’s point of view, Massa’s move on Perez looked like this …
… and it is a testament to Vettel’s steely nerve that he was able to keep it together and not swerve this way or that. Either of which could have ended his day in tragedy, as the spinning wreckage of Perez’ car seemed just as close to his Red Bull Renault as Massa’s was.
One other notable finisher was Jenson Button, who dragged his dog of a McLaren over line in fourth position under the final Safety Car period of the race. Here’s how the 2014 Grand Prix of Canada played out for everyone else:
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1|
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||3|
|27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||5|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||11|
Source | Images: Formula 1.