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Red Bulls Return in Canadian Grand Prix

2014 Formula 1 Report:  USA Edition

Drafting the Circuits

Week 23

Grand Prix                          Date                   Tire Compounds      

Grand Prix of Austria        June 20-22      Supersoft/Soft

British Grand Prix             July 4-6            Medium.Hard

Hockenheim Grand Prix July 18-20        Supersoft/Soft

Drivers’ championship:

 

1.  Nico Rosberg                    140

2.  Lewis Hamilton              118

3. Daniel Ricciardo             79

4.  Fernando Alonso           69

5.  Sebastian Vettel             60

6.  Nico Hulkenberg           57

7.  Jenson Button               43

8.  Valtteri Bottas               40

9.  Kevin Magnussen          23

10.  Sergio Perez                  20

11.  Felipe Massa                  18

12.  Kimi Raikkonen            18

13.  Romain Grosjean          8

14.  Jean-Eric Vergne          8

15.  Daniil Kvyat                   4

16.  Jules Bianchi                 2

Constructors’ championship:

1.  Mercedes                       258

2.  Red Bull                         139

3.  Ferrari                           87

4.  Force India                   77

5.  McLaren                       66

6.  Williams                       58

7. Toro Rosso                    12

8.  Lotus                             8

10.Marussia                       2

Canadian Grand Prix

Oh Canada!  After receiving a 10 year extension on their F1 commercial rights, the action on the track justified the agreement.  By far, this was the best race of the 2014 campaign!

Although Mercedes locked out the front row of the grid again, this race was anything but a Mercedes romp.  Instead, Daniel Ricciardo received his first Grand Prix victory and Infiniti Red Bull Racing occupied two steps on the podium.  Like Stefan from SNL says, “this race had everything”!

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The opening lap was the warning shot. Before  lap one was even completed, the safety car was required after the two Marussia’s took each other out in turn 3.  Max Chilton skipped over the inside curb and swept into teammate Jules Bianchi’s machine.  Carbon fiber went flying and both cars were down for the day.  The stewards deemed Chilton as the responsible party and he will receive a 3-place grid penalty for the next race in Austria.

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Once the race resumed, it was business as usual as Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton checked out and made it the typical two-man Mercedes show.  By mid race, Hamilton was reeling Rosberg in and it was expected that the two Merc drivers would have a whale of a battle as the race developed.

This never happened.

Instead of stretching their leads, the Mercedes were seen actually losing pace and the field started to slowly reel them in.

The Mercedes loss of pace was due to MGU-K failures.   Paddy Lowe described the failures like this…

“We experienced near-simultaneous failure of the MGU-K on both cars just after half distance, which was apparently caused by an issue in the high-voltage Control Electronics which manage the MGU-K. This meant both cars lost hybrid power from this point onwards and, without the additional braking force of the MGU-K, this also put a much higher load on the rear brakes. Lewis then suffered a complete rear brake failure after his second pit stop, which was a consequence of the MGU-K fault. Nico was not affected in the same way and managed incredibly to maintain position from lap 37 to lap 67, making up time in the first and second sectors in order to defend in sector three, when he was considerably down on power.”

Both cars!

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At this point, Sergio Perez in the Force India machine was slowly climbing closer to the leading Mercs.

This set up a finale that was gripping.  Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel ran head to tail with all three catching the leading German.  The fastest car on the track was Felipe Massa who was lapping faster than anyone.

Massa quickly dispatched of teammate Valterri Bottas and Nico Hulkenberg and set out to draw in the trio of Perez, Ricciardo and Vettel.  He was quickly amongst them and this set up the thrilling finish.

The final 20 laps were fantastic!  Perez had an issue with the DRS flap on this rear wing and also brake problems.  He was truly never able to get close enough to Rosberg to take a swing at the lead.  Ricciardo, however had no such issue.  He dispatched Perez and took off in pursuit of Rosberg.

With two laps left, Ricciardo made the move and blew by Rosberg for the lead.  Vettel, made a move to pass Perez and grabbed the final podium position.

But the racing was not finished.  Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez had a huge, nasty crash when Perez changed his racing line triggering a mess that sent both drivers into the barriers and to the medical center.  Massa labelled Perez “dangerous” and said that Perez has done this many times before. Fortunately, both drivers were released from the hospital.

http://motorsportstalk.nbcsports.com/2014/06/08/video-perez-and-massa-crash-hard-on-last-lap-in-canada/

 

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Here’s a final thought.

This might be the best thing that happens for Rosberg and Hamilton in their championship battle.  Why?  Because, now the focus will be on the mechanical vehicle and not on Lewis and Nico for at least a few weeks.  The may act as a pressure release valve for these drivers as the drivers return to Europe for the long summer.  A pressure release valve, but not for long!

 

Pos Driver                Team                     Time/Gap

1. Daniel Ricciardo        Red Bull-Renault

2. Nico Rosberg              Mercedes

3. Sebastian Vettel         Red Bull-Renault

4. Jenson Button            McLaren-Mercedes

5. Nico Hulkenberg        Force India-Mercedes

6. Fernando Alonso        Ferrari

7. Valtteri Bottas             Williams-Mercedes

8. Jean-Eric Vergne        Toro Rosso-Renault

9. Kevin Magnussen       McLaren-Mercedes

10. Kimi Raikkonen        Ferrari

11. Sergio Perez                Force India-Mercedes

12. Felipe Massa              Williams-Mercedes

13. Adrian Sutil                Sauber-Ferrari

14. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari

 

Retirements

 

Romain Grosjean      Lotus-Renault

Daniil Kvyat               Toro Rosso-Renault

Lewis Hamilton         Mercedes

Kamui Kobayashi      Caterham-Renault

Pastor Maldonado     Lotus-Renault

Marcus Ericsson       Caterham-Renault

Max Chilton               Marussia-Ferrari

Jules Bianchi             Marussia-Ferrari

 

For those who use Twitter, you can follow me @steve_aibel or check us all out @RacingDTC for Drafting the Circuits.

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