It was supposed to be the day that Mercedes made history with a sixth 1-2...
Star of the Race
Sergio Perez, Force India, DNF
Perez started from P13 on SuperSoft tyres and made them last all the way through till Lap 34. He got a good start, too and was up toP11 on the opening lap. He made a non-DRS pass on Button down the back straight on the re-start - not many of those were going on. Daniel Ricciardo had to pit as early as Lap 13 - with the Safety Car laps subtracted that's only six racing laps for what would be the race winner. Checo's first stint was remarkable and he held it together almost to the end. Even if he'd let Massa past into Turn 1 and settled for fifth place, it would have been an amazing result from where he started. For all his efforts he got a 27G impact, a DNF and a mandatory trip to hospital for a brain scan.
*Subsequent to writing this Perez has collected a penalty for causing the Massa accident by changing his line under braking. There's no doubt he moved, but drivers often do that and get away with it. It would have been interesting to see if Massa could have got the Williams stopped in time had Perez not moved into his path.
Overtaking Move of the Race
Lap 66: Daniel Ricciardo on Sergio Perez for P2
This was the move that ultimately gave Daniel his first win. The Red Bulls couldn't compete with the Force India in a straight line, but somehow Dan managed to throw his RB10 down the inside of Turn 1 and get it stopped, "I was just staring at the grass between Turns 1 and 2 and thinking, 'oh no, I've overdone it,'." But although he was slow through Turn 2 he'd got the place.
As for the win? On Lap 13 when he was the first car to pit for tyres he looked well off the pace and it looked like being a long afternoon. Even on Lap 40 he was still down in P7 but crucially now ahead of team-mate Vettel. Adrian Newey paid tribute to Dan's calmness under pressure, able to talk to the team casually while going through the tunnel in Monaco and not getting rattled in this race despite the early stop.
The Western Australian becomes only the fourth Aussie to win an F1 grand prix and this is surely not going to be his last.
Another edge-of-the-seat end to an F1 race, and best of all for the 'live' broadcasters, the key primetime race. So what better result than to have the nicest guy on the grid win it against all expectations. This was like Jenson winning in 2011, a storming finish with a driver beating the odds-on favourite.
As the race neared the end, was anybody really worrying that it could have been a bit noisier? No, in fact the lack of engine noise meant that you could hear the crowd reaction so much better.
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, P2
Three Times Le Mans Winner, Allan McNish was impressed by Rosberg who he thought: "drove stunningly to bring a limp car home." He certainly was the big winner (compared to Hamilton) in the reliability stakes, but made many mistakes throughout the race, far more than his team-mate.
There was the first lap incident which almost took Hamilton out and made the team lose a place to Vettel. Though the commentary team likened it to Nico getting his own back for Bahrain, the subtle difference was that Lewis was in the lead in Bahrain and ran Rosberg out to the edge of the track. Hamilton had the better start in Canada and had his car in front, Rosberg dived down the inside, but should have left room. Instead he missed his braking, missed the apex, pushed Hamilton out towards the grass and would have caused a collision had Hamilton not been alert and moved.
Rosberg locked up and got a flatspot under braking for the final chicane on Lap 25 which he missed and collected a warning from the stewards. Even before his energy recovery started playing up he had a worrying outlap on Soft tyres when he almost collected the wall at the exit of Turn 4. He was behind Hamilton on fuel and constantly asked for brake balance advice. On the radio he sounded panicky. It was less of a stunning drive from Rosberg and more of a stunning recovery from the Mercedes engineers who talked him back to a reasonable pace. Had he not possessed the mobile barrier that was Perez, he would have finished fourth behind Ricciardo, Vettel and Massa.
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 3rd
The Killers have a song, 'Smile Like You Mean It' and this is what Vettel had to do afterwards. It was a race where he should have been ahead of Ricciardo after the second stops and wasn't. And then when cars get into a close train with all of them using DRS there is no passing, until something breaks or wears out.
This might be the only race of the year that Red Bull win and Seb didn't win it. Getting a podium doesn't mean so much when you're a four-times World Champion and your popular team-mate's just got his debut win. His best manoeuvre of the race was watching Felipe Massa in his mirrors and standing on the brakes when the flying Williams came past him into the barriers at Turn 1. That was so nearly a three-car incident.
Jenson Button, McLaren, 4th
With about fifteen laps to go Jenson Button was nine seconds behind Fernando Alonso in 9th place. But he was lapping very quickly. When Felipe Massa set a new Fastest Lap of 1:18.504 on Lap 58. Jenson was just three tenths slower. Alonso couldn't find a way past Hulkenberg who was gradually running out of tyres but using Mercedes grunt to stay ahead of the Ferrari.
Bottas went backwards with overheating issues, so when Alonso made a move on Hulkenberg and ran too deeply into the hairpin, Jenson was able to nip through on the inside, then take Hulk on the following straight. In front of them Massa and Perez took themselves out and there was Jenson in P4. Had Massa got the faintest of touches on Vettel, then bizarrely, Jenson could have been on the podium.
Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 5th
Hulk dropped from P11 to p12 on the opening lap but still made his one-stop tyre strategy work.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, DNF
Lewis hardly put a wheel wrong all weekend. It looked like he was playing the long game through the second stint, allowing Rosberg to stay in front and gradually saving fuel, ready for the final push at the time of the second pit-stops. But when those came he was already wounded, the loss of engine braking energy recovery putting extra load on the rear brakes, and his were the first to go. Alerted, Rosberg was able to address this issue and bank some big points. With the team-mates so evenly matched and failures being so rare, this championship race could well come down to reliability over ability.
Felipe Massa, Williams, DNF
Had Felipe Massa not been delayed during his first pit-stop, he could have won the race. As it was, he dropped positions and was always struggling to catch up with the Red Bulls and Force Indias after that. It will be interesting to hear his reaction to the accident with Perez, because he was about to try the same pass made by Dan Ricciardo when Perez moved over on him.
Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 6th and 10th
Without the Perez/Massa accident this would have been 8th and 12th. A gloomy Fernando was not in the best of moods after the race: "We were lucky with some DNFs at the end to pick up some points but sixth and tenth is too little for us." He was also a bit mean spirited about Button's good pass. Bemoaning the Ferrari's lack of speed compared to the Force India he said he had to look to overtake in risky situations. "We had to pass in strange places. Jenson was able to do a banzai manoeuvre and he gained two places."
Race TV Director
For some reason the person in charge of the F1 coverage in Canada preferred pictures of the crowd looking at cars overtaking each other to the actual cars overtaking each other.
Marussia, Double DNF
Max Chilton lost it trying to outbrake Jules Bianchi into Turn 3, and nudged Bianchi into the accident that brought out the Safety Car. But the outside of another car going into Turn 3 is a perilous place for an overtake, so it's surprising that the stewards didn't call this one a racing accident.
Three Times Le Mans Winner Allan McNish"Kobayashi did that this morning - he leapt-frogged the chicane."
David Coulthard talking about Bernie's elaborate payments to teams: "It's a very complicated system and it's even more complicated the way Eddie explains it."
Eddie Jordan "I think Canada is a huge welcome."
David Coulthard "It's much nicer to hit metal than concrete."
Eddie Jordan "Sometimes cars, teams, tracks...they tend to gel together."
Eddie Jordan talking about Marussia's last race: "The triumphant that the team felt in Monaco was a triumph."
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