Riccairdo Wins First F1 GP

Daniel Riccairdo celebrates on the podium following his maiden win at the Canadian Grand Prix Sunday in Montreal.  [Photo by Sutton Images]
MONTREAL, Canada- After many weeks of the AMG Mercedes works team dominating the opening six races with Lewis Hamilton and series leader Nico Rosberg, the team came to Canada hoping for more of the same. But on Sunday at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Red Bull’s Daniel Riccairdo passed Rosberg, who was losing power, with one lap to go, to win his maiden Grand Prix by 4.2 seconds.  His teammate, Sebastian Vettel, gave Red Bull more constructor’s points by finishing in third, his second podium of the year.
“I am still a little bit in shock.” Commented Riccairdo after the race. “The race really came to life the last 15 or 20 laps, for Hamilton had a problem and we saw that Rosberg was slow on the straights. I noticed that Mercedes had a pretty good car down the straights and we were good on the corners. We finally got a good run on the last chicane and made a good turn into turn one and Nico (Rosberg) got myself into a good spot. It is an amazing feeling right now, and I am really grateful for this.”
The start was a clean one, as Hamilton came out on the right side to attempt to pass Rosberg on the Senna curve. But the German was not having any of it, and closed him off, enabling him to take the lead. Vettel, meanwhile, took this advantage and grabbed second place. But the quick pace of the first lap was overcome with the collision of Marussia teammates Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton, who collided around turn six, putting both drivers out and bringing out the safety car for the next seven laps.
However, as soon as the race resumed, Rosberg continued to hold a gap of 1.9 seconds before coming into the pits on lap18. Hamilton by lap 24 began to close in on his teammate that was so intense that Rosberg overshot the last chicane and was investigated for completely going off the course. The investigation was upheld, and the German continued to lead by just 2.1 seconds by lap 38. But after so much success with the engines, Hamilton radioed around lap 45 that he was beginning to lose power. Hamilton came around the final corner and did the same thing as Rosberg did, but realized that his brakes were finally worn out and smoke began to spew from his right rear side. Hamilton retired by lap 47, but the problem was still in Rosberg’s car, and considering he still had the lead, he was losing time to the rest of the grid, who were suddenly catching the race leader.
But with only a few laps to go, Rosberg was just ahead of Riccardo, Sergio Perez, Felipe Massa, and Vettel, and with only a lap to go, Riccairdo passed Rosberg going into the final chicane coming out of Casino du Droit and took the lead. But just as both Riccairdo and Rosberg were going into the final lap and turning into Senna curve, Massa came up too quick on Perez on the start/finish line and struck him from behind, the Mexican going into the wall, and the Brazilian cutting right across Vettel, who got the scare of his life, and into another wall at an alarming fast rate.With the yellow flag now out, any further action prevented Rosberg from overtaking Riccarido, giving the Australian his first Grand Prix victory.
With all the incidents happening, one driver who got a break out of all this was Jenson Button, who won this race in 2011. The Briton lead the rest of the grid with Nico Hulkenberg finishing fifth, Fernando Alonso sixth, Valterri Bottas in his Williams in seventh, Jean-Eric Vergne taking a lonely eighth, and Kevin Magnussen and Kimi Raikkonen taking the last two point positions.
The next race will be at the revised Ostereichring, now renamed the Red Bull ring, which makes it even better that Riccairdo and his team are going to their sponsor’s home track. Something that has Riccairdo’s approval.
“I am very excited for the next race” said Riccairdo. “Which is the home race for Red Bull. I am hoping that I can stand back on the podium again. It is going to be great and they have done a lot of work there, so it is two weeks away and it is going to be great.”


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