Montreal, 8 June – An anonymous afternoon for Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen in what was possibly the most exciting race of the year so far.
Having qualified in the middle of the grid, the Ferrari duo had no place to go given the difficulty in overtaking cars that had a greater top speed than the F14 T. However, a frightening accident on the penultimate lap wiped out two cars so that the Ferrari men ended the race in sixth and tenth places. This was the first race of the year not won by a Mercedes, with Red Bull taking the victory courtesy of Daniel Ricciardo, the Australian recording his first ever Grand Prix win. Nico Rosberg was second for Mercedes and still leads the championship, while Sebastian Vettel was third in the second Red Bull.
The race got underway in very hot conditions, with the track temperature at 50 degrees. At the start, Fernando dropped a place to eighth on the outside of Turn 2, running behind Vergne in the Toro Rosso and ahead of Kimi who moved up to ninth.
The Safety Car came out after the two Marussia’s collided on lap 1. The laps run in this neutralised period at least meant that fuel consumption worries would be lessened after the SC came in on lap 7. Fernando and Kimi ran as high as third and fourth when others pitted ahead of them. Fernando came in on lap 16, fitting the Soft Pirellis and rejoining in 10th, having managed to get ahead of Vergne by a couple of car lengths as he came out of the pits. Kimi changed to the Softs on lap 17, but the Finn was now down in 13th behind Kvyat in the Toro Rosso.
The story of the race for both Ferrari men was one of frustration at not being able to pass cars ahead. Fernando’s pace was better in the middle stint, but there was nowhere for him to go, as overtaking was proving very difficult, with cars around him having better top speed. Kimi pitted a final time on lap 39, later spinning at the hairpin but continuing.
Fernando was ninth on lap 44 when he made his final stop and was up to eighth shortly after, but both his and Kimi’s promotion up the order came in the closing stages in what was a crazy end to the Canadian Grand Prix. Five cars were locked in a battle for the lead, with Rosberg chased by Perez, Ricciardo, Vettel and Massa. Perez dropped back and as Massa dived to pass him down the pit straight, the Mexican moved slightly off line, causing both men to crash very heavily. It brought out the Safety Car, which led the field past the chequered flag and promoted the two Ferrari men to their final positions, Fernando having been passed on the penultimate lap by Button in the McLaren.