When Mercedes faltered in Canada it was Daniel Ricciardo who took advantage to claim his first ever grand prix victory – and he was duly voted Driver of the Weekend.
Ricciardo has performed consistently well so far this year in the eyes of F1 Fanatic readers, appearing in the top three in the Driver of the Weekend polls in five of the seven races so far.
Taking 44.9% of the vote, Ricciardo polled twice as many votes as Nico Rosberg, who finished second in the voting as he did in the race, following his MGU-K failure.
Sergio Perez came third in the voting, despite being held responsible for a last-lap collision with Felipe Massa.
1. Daniel Ricciardo
Heading into the Canadian Grand Prix weekend Red Bull team boss Christian Horner gave his team little chance, stating they’d be lucky to make the third row on the grid.
As it turned out, they were actually in a close battle with Williams for the two rows behind Mercedes, however while Sebastian Vettel pulled a stunning lap out for third, Ricciardo struggled with balance, and lined up sixth.
From the start he got stuck behind Massa so pitted early and jumped the Williams, then repeated the tactic at the second round of stops, jumping the other Williams of Valtteri Bottas and team mate Vettel.
As the Mercedes’ cars hit trouble up front Ricciardo found himself third in the train led by Nico Rosberg, separated from the race leader by Perez. With Red Bull’s lack of straight-line speed however Ricciardo struggled to pass the ailing Force India, but eventually pulled a well-judged move with five laps to go.
He quickly closed on Rosberg and used the advantage of being able to keep close in sectors one and two – something Perez couldn’t do – to gain DRS and enjoy the rare satisfaction of drafting past a Mercedes on a straight to claim his first ever win.
No particular driver stood out as having an especially competent or blemish free weekend, but when it counted it seemed like Dan was the only one to roll his sleeves up and take the prize with both hands. It almost felt like no one was going to score in an open goal on Sunday.
Stood up against Vettel (again) and didn’t miss the opportunity to overtake Perez and then Rosberg!
Ricciardo for mine. Made amends for his qualifying woes with a phenomenal last five laps.
2. Nico Rosberg
Arriving at a venue where team mate Lewis Hamilton was expected to be strong, Rosberg captured pole position by less than a tenth of a second following a mistake by Hamilton in Q3 on his final lap.
Hamilton got away better from the start however, and so to keep his advantage Rosberg ran his team mate wide at turn one. Rosberg started to come under more pressure from Hamilton later in the race, and this led to two mistakes. He nearly put his car in the wall at turn four, and out-braked himself at the final chicane and cut the corner, setting the fastest lap as he did so.
He was handed a warning but the mistake was soon forgotten when both cars started to lap two seconds a lap slower as they both suffered MGU-K failures. Hamilton jumped ahead for half a lap before succumbing to brake problems and Rosberg was left alone to defend from the rapidly-closing pack.
He kept Perez at bay by building a gap of over a second in sectors one and two, ensuring the Force India driver – suffering problems of his own – couldn’t get close enough to use DRS. When Perez was replaced by Ricciardo, however, Rosberg was powerless to defend.
Rosberg beat Hamilton in qualifying on ‘his’ track, then took it to him in the race only to lose his place before Hamilton’s complete failure because of a mechanical issue. Not only then did he finish in the points with a lack of power he finished on the podium putting a bigger gap between him and Hamilton. Such a result may pay off in the later half of the season.
Jimbo Hull (@Kartingjimbo)
Rosberg. Pole against Hamilton on his best track, second place with 160 horsepower less than the others sure is impressive.
3. Sergio Perez
Force India struggled throughout practice and were regularly the slowest Mercedes powered team, so it was no surprise to see both cars fall out in Q2.
Perez got a good start from 13th and moved up into the top ten. As teams around them pitted it became increasingly obvious Force India were trying to stop just once, and Perez moved into third, behind only the two Mercedes cars.
When their issues hit Perez was best placed to take advantage, but problems of his own meant he couldn’t keep close enough to Rosberg in sectors one and two to gain DRS. As a result Ricciardo got past with five laps to go and Vettel followed as they began the last lap.
Closing on the Red Bull down the straight Perez pulled off of the racing line, but unfortunately Massa had planned the same thing, and the two cars collided at high speed, resulting in a tremendous accident and losing both drivers solid points hauls. Perez was judged responsible and handed a grid penalty for the next race.
Perez did a super race. Only electronic problems and lack of grip at the end allowed Ricciardo to overtake him.
Adrian Chavez Lopez (@Adyel)
2014 Driver of the Weekend results
|Australian||Kevin Magnussen (48.38%)||Valtteri Bottas (24.49%)||Daniel Ricciardo (14.05%)|
|Malaysian||Lewis Hamilton (54.3%)||Nico Hulkenberg (24.0%)||Sebastian Vettel (6.5%)|
|Bahrain||Lewis Hamilton (49.2%)||Sergio Perez (25.7%)||Daniel Ricciardo (16.6%)|
|China||Fernando Alonso (47.7%)||Lewis Hamilton (30.7%)||Daniel Ricciardo (7.8%)|
|Spain||Sebastian Vettel (51.9%)||Lewis Hamilton (20.5%)||Romain Grosjean (11.0%)|
|Monaco||Jules Bianchi (60.2%)||Nico Rosberg (11.5%)||Daniel Ricciardo (8.8%)|
|Canada||Daniel Ricciardo (44.9%)||Nico Rosberg (22.4%)||Sergio Perez (9.5%)|
2014 Canadian Grand Prix
- Perez keeps five-place grid penalty for Massa crash
- Stewards confirm review of Perez-Massa collision
- Stewards to investigate Massa-Perez crash again
- 2014 Canadian Grand Prix team radio transcript
- Canadian GP judged best race of the year so far
Image © Red Bull/Getty