In an upset that brought the race to him, Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was nonetheless ready and in position to take advantage of the opportunity winning his first-ever Formula 1 Grand Prix in Montreal on Sunday, June 8. The Canadian Grand Prix was a race of firsts in more ways than one.
The Canadian Grand Prix resulted in not only Australian Ricciardo's first Formula 1 career win, but it was also the first time a team other than Mercedes stood on the top step of the podium all season. According to Formula 1, the race was also the first time Renault took a victory in the turbo-hybrid era.
Important as all that is, Nico Rosberg of Mercedes hanging onto second place despite technical problems in his car means he now sits with 140 points toward the world championship, 22 points over his team-mate Lewis Hamilton. According to Formula 1, Hamilton retired on lap 47 with brake trouble.
Coming in third was four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel, giving Red Bull a two-spot podium finish and now 139 total points in the constructors' championship. These points, however, are still a far cry from Mercedes with 258.
Here is how the rest of the field came in on Sunday's race: 4th: Jenson Button (McLaren); 5th: Nico Hulkenberg (Force India); 6th: Fernando Alonso (Ferrari); 7th: Valtteri Bottas (Williams); 8th: Jean-Eric Vergne (STR); 9th: Kevin Magnussen (McLaren); 10th: Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari); 11th: Sergio Perez (Force India); 12th: Felipe Massa (Williams); 13th: Adrian Sutil (Sauber); and 14th: Esteban Guiterrez (Sauber). All others in the field retired.
About his inaugural Formula 1 victory, Ricciardo said, "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. We achieved a great result today with first and third - so let’s enjoy it - but we will still have some work to do also. This will motivate the guys to work even harder and find even more, so I’m sure it will keep coming even better for us at the next few races."
Sebastian Vettel commented: "Congratulations to Daniel for his first win, which is very, very special, so I’m happy for him and happy for the team, especially after such a horrible winter. It’s nice to be able to finally break through to get a win this year and capitalize on Mercedes having a problem. I think we could have taken more risk with the strategy today - but it’s hard to know exactly what was going on around me when I’m not sitting on the pit wall. We have developed the car a lot this year, so we are going in the right direction, but we need to develop it even more for the straights, so there is still a lot of work ahead of us. We are here to keep pushing and to keep doing our best."
Nico Rosberg had this to say about his second place finish despite fighting the car so much of the way: "That was a big battle all the way through today! I had a tough start but I was able to defend in the first few corners and fight against Lewis. 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 which was fine but Daniel was too fast on the straights with much more power than I had available and he was able to get past. With so much going on, I had to ask my engineer where I finished at the end as I thought I was probably about fifth or sixth. 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. Congratulations to Daniel for his first Formula 1 win."
British driver Lewis Hamilton said: "I did the best that I could out there today and felt like I was having a strong race but unfortunately it just wasn't our day. Montreal has been a good track for me so to come here and not finish is disappointing but there are plenty more races ahead of us this season so let's hope for better fortune. There was nothing I could do about our issues really. We were managing the loss of power but as soon as I finally made the jump on Nico in the second pit stop, my brakes failed going into Turn 10. It's great for the team that Nico was able to hold on and get second place today but it's tough for me. That's two DNFs now this season and now I have to try and recover the points gap again. But these are learning experiences: we'll learn as a team and get stronger. Congratulations to Daniel today. It's awesome for him to get his first win and I know this will be a really special day for him."
The next race in the 2014 Formula 1 season will be the Austrian Grand Prix on June 22nd.