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Daniel Ricciardo secures sensational maiden Formula One victory in Canada

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo from Australia celebrates yesterdays win with Mercedes Nico Rosberg behind

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo from Australia celebrates yesterdays win with Mercedes Nico Rosberg behind

Daniel Ricciardo scored a sensational maiden Formula One grand prix victory as the wheels finally came off the Mercedes juggernaut in Canada.

On yet another captivating day for the sport this season, the race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was a classic, with rising Red Bull star Ricciardo ending Mercedes’ run of six consecutive wins, and five straight one-twos.

Rosberg managed to nurse his car home into second place to open up a 22-point lead over team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who was forced to retire with a brake failure after 47 of the 70 laps.

It was a race that ended in dramatic fashion, with Ricciardo making his decisive move on Rosberg on lap 68, with the German’s Mercedes struggling for power on the long straights.

Come the final lap, with Williams’ Felipe Massa dicing with Sergio Perez in his Force India for fourth, the Brazilian ran into the back of the Mexican.

Whilst Perez rammed into one barrier to his right, Massa flew head-on into a tyre wall at turn one, almost collecting third-placed Sebastian Vettel on his way.

Mercifully, neither man was injured, and as the medical car rolled up to attend to them, Ricciardo went on to take the chequered flag by 4.2secs ahead of a much relieved Rosberg.

The German and Hamilton had again been vying for the lead for most of the race up until midway through when they both complained of power issues.

It was Hamilton who succumbed first, the loss of power seemingly affecting his brakes and sending him into retirement for the second time this season.

It appeared only a matter of time before Rosberg would also succumb, but somehow the 28-year-old kept his car out of trouble.

Although the field closed behind him, for many laps led by Perez on a one-stop strategy, it was 24-year-old Ricciardo who made the moves.

After being stuck behind Perez for some time, the Australian finally squeezed by, releasing him to reel in Rosberg and make the winning pass two laps from home.

A naturally thrilled Ricciardo said “I’m still a bit in shock. This is ridiculous.

“The race really came to life in the last 15 to 20 laps. Hamilton had a problem and Nico was slow on the straights.

“I initially struggled to get past Perez, but finally I got a run and made a nice move into turn one.

“Then with Nico I found myself in the right spot to get a run with the DRS. This win feels great.”

Rosberg could offer no explanation as to his power issues, but was obviously delighted to hang on for the runner-up spot.

“It was a big battle all the way (with Hamilton),” said Rosberg.

“I managed to stay ahead until the second stop, and then we had a problem there.

“From then on I didn’t know what was going on, I lost power, and I just tried to hang on, putting in qualifying laps.

“Unfortunately it didn’t work out against Daniel.”

Four-times champion Vettel magnanimously offered his respect to team-mate Ricciardo for his debut win.

“Congratulations to him. It’s his day,” said Vettel.

“From our perspective the race came to us, and we were there to capitalise, although we were just not quick enough fown the straights.”

It was a race that also had drama at the start, not least coming out of turn one after Hamilton had edged his nose in front of Rosberg.

But with Rosberg holding the line into the corner, Hamilton had to take evasive action to avoid contact, and in doing so he immediately lost a place to Vettel.

Further down the field, though, was where the real carnage unfolded, with Marussia’s Max Chilton losing control of his car through the turn three/four chicane.

Unfortunately for Chilton the car nearest to him was team-mate Jules Bianchi, with the Frenchman hit from the side and sent spinning into a wall where the rear of the Marussia disintegrated.

As for Chilton, his momentum carried him into a wall on the opposite side of the track, forcing him into retirement for the first time in his 26-race career.

 

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