“How do you make a race more fun? Cripple the Mercs.”

Hey guys, Dre here and HOLY SHIT THAT RACE WAS AWESOME. Most seasons are lucky to have one outstanding GP in a season, but this? This was special. There must be something in that lake next to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, because for the 2nd time in 4 years, we as Formula 1 fans were blessed with an incredibly special race.

From Mercedes dealing with a slightly different kind of internal problem, to Force India’s 1-stopping, to Daniel Ricciardo going from strength to strength yet again, this was a classic… Who knew crippling a Mercs would make a race so much more intriguing?! Now, watch as I try and break this crazy son of a bitch down. Ladies and gents, the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix.


 

Lewis
HOLY CRAP, MERCS ARE HUMAN!

To the delight of casual F1 fans everywhere, Mercedes didn’t have it go their way for the first time this season. They were dominating as usual, half a minute ahead of at the time, 3rd placed Nico Hulkenberg, when, and in one of the most bizarre moments in F1 history, an electronics failure struck both Mercedes cars at the same time, with their MGU-K units failing, and their lack of top speed were not only making Renault look fast for once, but they were losing in the region of 2-3 seconds a lap to the rest of the field. Things got even crazier when Lewis Hamilton had to retire from the race as well with a rear-break failure, another dent in his Championship chase.

To be honest, I’m not sure what deserves more credit for Nico Rosberg’s 2nd place finish, Nico himself for a sensational salvage job, or thinking deeply and wondering just how freaking INSANELY fast that Mercedes car is. It drove half the race with an MGU failure and STILL ended up 3 laps from winning. That’s nuts, and a warning shot that the field still has a LONG way to go before anyone is a consistent threat to this team’s speed.

But, as a fan, it sure as hell made this race a HELL of a lot more interesting, amongst other things…And be honest, who WASN’T happy for Danny? I mean look at that damn smile.

Daniel Ricciardo 2
Daniel Ricciardo, World’s Happiest Man

I was praising Daniel Ricciardo just two weeks on here for continuing to put in impressive drives… And then, this happens. He goes and wins from 6th on the grid, his WORST qualifying appearance of the year. Danny is knocking on the door of elite status very soon if he can keep this up, because everything seems to be falling into place for him in the Championship right now.

After his team let him down early on, Ricciardo’s not put a foot wrong, and after taking advantage of Vettel being held up by Hulkenberg, he put in the hot laps, jumped him, pounced on Perez’s mistakes and cleared Rosberg for the win in tremendous fashion. As big a feel good win in F1 as we’ve seen for a long time too – EVERYONE loves Daniel, and it’s obvious why. Danny is just an extremely likeable guy who never stops smiling, respectful, classy, and very fast. It was lovely to see the support he was getting universally, and the “Ricc-ar-do” chants from the Aussie fans were awesome to see. Smiles all around for the “best of the rest” driver of 2014.

Vettel and Danny
Vettel’s not doing too bad either!

Vettel was seemingly very happy for Daniel and it was wonderful to see such sportsmanship between the Red Bull drivers…A lesson for Mercedes I’m sure. But to me, Seb’s just not having anything go his way at present. A solid start in 3rd, wrecked by Hulkenberg’s 1-stopping Force India, and with Red Bull giving up 10mph to the Mercedes powered cars in the straights, it rendered Seb in a near impossible situation where he was unable to pass, and putting 1st, left him vulnerable for Ricciardo to sneak past.. Which he did. Then again, Felipe Massa’s destroyed Williams came within 2 feet of wrecking his race on the final lap, so I guess it balanced itself out in the end.

Many will chalk up another one in the teammate duel bracket for Ricciardo, but there’s a lot of signs to suggest that Vettel’s finding his feet in that Red Bull now, and if it wasn’t for the 1-stopping Force India, I suspect he would have won comfortably. But that’s racing, and the next fight will be a fun one in Austria, a track neither has gone too before. Still, I think he’ll gladly take the 15 points with Hulkenberg and Alonso’s mediocre results, and Hamilton’s DNF.

Massa
Williams Needs New Strategists

Sorry Williams, I want you to do well, really I do… but Felipe Massa REALLY should have won this today. After Red Bull

#FeltTheForce, Massa could, and probably should have done a 1-stopper, stayed out, and probably won, with the Force India cars replicating their strategy down the road. Williams had the pace to challenge Red Bull all through the weekend, and even had a chance after the 2nd stop, but somehow, Massa got out-driven by the slower in a straight line Vettel, completely wrecking his race.

This isn’t the first time Williams have been poor in terms of strategy. Bottas got nailed in Spain a month back when Ricciardo undercut him and instead of responding, Danny racked up the fast laps, and blitzed him when Bottas finally did stop. It cost him a real shot at a podium due to Ricciardo’s lack of straight line speed.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Felipe is partly responsible on this one – He really should have cleared that traffic affected pack when he was on fresh tyres, but Williams certainly didn’t give him the best possible chance of doing so. When your team doesn’t know what it’s doing, sometimes the driver can’t save you.

Massa and Perez
That Last Lap Crash…

Oh dear. Just when a finish to a GP couldn’t get any more heightened… Bam, Perez and Massa tangle on the final lap, and Massa comes within about 3 feet of torpedoing Sebastian Vettel’ sidepod at about 170 miles per hour. So, with every crash in Formula 1 these days…Who’s fault was it? Preferably in a condescing, Jeremy Clarkson-style accent.

To me, it’s one of those 51/49 incidents. Perez was indeed off the racing line, and jinked to the left suddenly, but he was only doing it to defend from Felipe Massa’s surprise attack, probably unaware of just how close he was getting in his rear view mirror. The majority of me thinks that this was just one of those racing incidents were two guys are really going for it and there’s a small misjudgement and it causes an incident like that to happen.

Now, in case you missed the latest news, Sergio Perez has been handed a

5 place grid penalty for Austria in a fortnight’s time, for turning off the racing line going into Turn 1. To me, this is VERY harsh penalty. Like I said, Perez was only trying to defend position, and it’s the FINAL LAP OF THE RACE, Massa’s going to go for it because of the lack of opportunities available. It’s such a marginal call that to me, I think the Stewards should so a little bit of discretion, give them both a slap on the wrist and let it pass. Punishing Perez for that one is a tad cruel.

Gladly however, both drivers were released from hospital earlier tonight with no issues, which is excellent news. After Hungary 2009, any time Massa has an accident, I get nervous, for obvious reasons. Perez hit the wall at 27G, at about 170 miles per hour, and was able to walk away. Think about that next time you see a footballer dive.

Thumbnail
Race of the Year? Decade? Ever?

Surprise, BONUS point! Many people have been debating just how good this race has been, some declaring it an all-time great. We may have to wait for the dust to settle a little bit to see if it holds up over time, but right now, this is the first race since Canada 2011 that gets a
10/10 on the Dre Race Review scoring system, and without a doubt, the best GP of 2014 so far.

To be honest, I can’t think of many GP’s in the last 10 or so years that would be on a similar level, like Canada 2011, Brazil 02, 08, 12 etc, so for me, Canada 2014 definitely goes down as a race of the decade contender. I know, it took a little while to get go, but Perez and Hulkenberg’s defensive driving caused tension and drama…And everything beyond Hamilton’s retirement, is absolutely bat-shit crazy.

I think Canada 2014 would easily walk into my Top 5 races since I started watching F1 back in 1999, but what say you, Internet? Let me know in the comments!


Also, while it may be a year ago, let’s not forget Mark Robinson, the marshal that lost his life at this very grand prix. Marshals keep those 22 drivers as safe as possible and are the reasons these incredible athletes can go racing, and never get the true credit they deserve for their incredible passion and selflessness. They are one of Sports unsung heroes, and we owe them so much as fans. RIP Mark, may we race in your honour.

Mark Robinson

 

Thanks for reading, and I’ll catch you guys, later!

Max-Chilton-Crash-Jerez_2896321
Oh, and Max Chilton’s finishing streak…We hardly knew ye. 2013-2014

Oh and one more thing, I watched this race LIVE with the fans on YouTube, in an epic 4 hour marathon Google Hangout, if you want to check it out, you can do so here!