The past few Formula One races have been a bit boring. One of the Mercedes drivers, either Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg, would end up on pole, and one would end up winning. It was neat at first, but then it grew a bit stale. The Canadian Grand Prix looked like much of the same, until it all went to hell.
And when I say "all went to hell," I mean for Mercedes:
No, no, no!!! #F1
— MERCEDES AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) June 8, 2014
The beginning of the race all went along pretty typically, but about midway through, both the Mercedes cars seemed to lose massive amounts of pace. Something was wrong, but it wasn't clear what. Was it a general software issue? Something with the fuel system? Maybe someone in the pits hit a wrong button?
It looked to be something with the ERS or the brakes, but Hamilton and Rosberg's cars had suddenly slowed down by more than 10 miles per hour on the straightaways. And if 5 MPH is all that it takes for someone to pass you in an F1 race, then 10 MPH can get you blown away.
UPDATE: It was a "High-voltage control electronics failure" that lead to "permanent loss of MGU-K drive." Sounds messy. H/t Noah!
But still, Hamilton and Rosberg went at it, Rosberg missing chicanes, Hamilton attempting to scoot past him at just the right moment.
And then it all went to hell for Lewis. His rear brakes failed massively, sending him shooting off a chicane much like Rosberg had before.
He was out of the race.
But Rosberg was still in it, and still fighting to maintain his hold on the lead. And, weirdly enough as this season is going, it was a real fight.
Challengers immediately lined up to challenge the son of Keke Rosberg, as he desperately tried to nurse his still-wounded Mercedes around for the remaining laps until the finish.
First there was Sergio Perez, then there was Daniel Ricciardo, then there was Sebastian Vettel, and then there was Felipe Massa.
At one point, Massa even managed to turn a proper pit stop strategy into a first place position.
Yes, Felipe Massa, the sad man from Williams who hadn't been having such a great season. Here he was, returning to rare form, setting quicker lap times than anyone else on the track.
With ten laps to go, it still looked like it could've been anybody's race.
After Daniel Ricciardo managed to vault past Rosberg and Perez to take the lead for the race with just two laps to go, Massa seemed to know that he had to make a move somewhere, to get past Perez, to get past Vettel, and finish on the podium at the very least for the first time in a long time.
Perez was complaining about braking issues, much like Hamilton and Rosberg had, a victim of a track that had eaten a number of other cars on the day. With its long straights and hard braking areas, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is notorious for destroying both drivers and their vehicles. Massa almost had his chance.
But it was all for nought.
He crashed in a most exuberant fashion at the start of the final lap, not only taking out the stricken Perez, but also destroying his own hopes for victory.
A yellow flag was flown, and that was the end of the race. No one was allowed to pass.
Daniel Ricciardo was in front, and the 24-year-old managed to score his first-ever Formula One victory, just seven races into the Australian's career at a major team.
The Canadian Grand Prix just signed up with Formula One for another ten years. I'm glad they did.
Your full provisional race results are below.
Topshot Credit: AP
All other photos credit Getty Images