Daniel Ricciardo Claims First F1 Win at Action-Packed Canadian Grand Prix
There are exciting Formula One races – recall Bahrain 2014. There are exceptional F1 races, remember the exploding Pirellis of Silverstone 2013? And then there is the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix, quite possibly the best grand prix in recent memory. Who said these new cars were boring? The event started out in exciting fashion with a manic dash from Lewis Hamilton off the line in P2 to challenge pole-sitter and fellow Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg into the first two corners, except Rosberg held the Briton and forced him wide, giving Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel a chance to dive into second place.
Both Marussia cars retired in spectacular fashion with an intra-team collision later in the first lap, which brought out the safety car and happily quelled many teams’ nerves about fuel usage.
Hamilton made quick work of Vettel’s RB10 after the safety car retreated to the pits and soon began to hound after Rosberg. After a series of pit stops, Hamilton got right on Rosberg’s tail and caused the German to lock-up going into the final chicane and cut the corner.
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But unlike the last six races, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Mercedes AMG. You could hear it on the team radio, something was badly wrong with Nico Rosberg’s car, his pace began to fall drastically. Then all of a sudden, Hamilton’s pace fell too. The MGU-K system of both cars failed on the same lap, at virtually the same time. It was blood in the water.
The field began closing the door on the front-running Mercedes cars, bringing Force India’s Sergio Perez, and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel within striking distance with every single lap. The Mercedes duo replicated their previous off-track excursion at the final chicane, except this time it was Lewis Hamilton who went off and eventually prompted his race-ending brake failure.
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With 22 laps to go, Nico Rosberg just needed to keep the pack at bay and catch the Williams of Felipe Massa, who had yet to pit on that stint. However, after his pit stop and sporting fresh rubber, Massa blitzed the field and held tight to the back of Vettel. The pack kept closing in, bringing Sergio Perez to within one second of Rosberg at times and allowing Daniel Ricciardo to put the moves on the Mexican with just five laps left.
In second place, Ricciardo used his DRS to reel in Rosberg, and passed him on the straightaway with only three laps to go. Behind both of them – and narrowly missing Vettel –Perez and Massa got involved in a massive high-speed shunt that put them both in the barriers, luckily they were both okay. This put the young Aussie comfortably in the lead for a safety-car finish.
Just like that, Ricciardo soured the possibility of a Mercedes season-sweep, but bagged the first Formula One win of his career. The podium ceremony saw Ricciardo grinning in typical fashion on the top step, Nico Rosberg in second, and a relieved-looking Sebastian Vettel in fourth. Thanks to the late retirements of Perez and Massa, a quiet Jenson Button crept his McLaren into fourth position, with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg in fifth.
Suddenly, the exhaust note that these cars make doesn’t sound nearly that bad. This was one for the history books.
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