June 8, 2014
Jean-Eric Vergne's very strong Canadian weekend ended with an eighth place finish, which secured him his first points since the opening round of the season in Melbourne. Daniil Kvyat's race did not go so well and he was forced to retire on lap 48 with a drive train problem.
Jev's strong Sunday owed a lot to a brilliant showing in qualifying, when he posted the eighth fastest time. However, even before the start, we knew that the greater top speed of some of the cars around the STR9 would mean defending position on the straights would be very difficult. Jev moved up a place to seventh after the start and had got as high as fifth before making his first pit stop on lap 15, which dropped him to tenth behind Alonso. By this point, Daniil had already dropped back one place after the start and after moving up a few places, he then spun at Turn 1 on lap10 which saw him spiral down to nineteenth. He would later have an "interesting" moment with Kimi Raikkonen and had to cut the final chicane.
Although Jev could do little to stop Massa passing him, the Frenchman was up to sixth on lap 38, fighting off Perez, Ricciardo and Vettel behind him, until he made his second stop on lap 40 which dropped him down to 11th. As Kvyat pulled over at the hairpin on lap 48, Jev was back in tenth. How did he make it to eighth? That was down to a very scary final lap incident that came after several absolutely breathtaking laps with the top five cars all fighting nose to tail and side by side for the win.
Our former driver, Daniel Ricciardo in the Infiniti Red Bull Racing had taken the lead off Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes with two laps to go, while behind them Sebastian Vettel had got ahead of Sergio Perez. The Mexican had been one of the stars of the show in the Force India, working his way up the order by running a very long first stint, until brake problems slowed him right at the end. Then, on the last lap, in an attempt to pass him Felipe Massa in the Williams, the quickest man on track at the time, clipped the back end of Perez's car, as the Force India man moved slightly off line, causing a very scary crash at the first corner, wiping out both cars. Fortunately, both drivers were okay, although Massa was taken to hospital for further checks, given the severity of the impact and their elimination promoted Jev to eighth place.
Ricciardo will of course remember his maiden Formula 1 victory for a long time to come and so will racing fans, as this was without a doubt the most exciting race of the year. For the first time in seven races, a Mercedes didn't win, Hamilton retiring with technical problems and Rosberg hampered by a glitch in the recharging of his energy system, although Nico still finished second to keep his championship lead. Vettel made it to the third rung of the podium.