Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo registered his maiden grand prix win in the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday, beating Mercedes' pole sitter Nico Rosberg in the dying stages at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.
Rosberg and teammate Lewis Hamilton stormed away with the lead in the initial phase of the race but surprisingly both suffered loss of engine power, and a train of cars, led by Williams' Felipe Massa, swiftly closed out the gap on the Mercedes duo.
Hamilton was forced to retire after he suffered brake problems but Rosberg continued to hold the lead. But Ricciardo, teammate Sebastian Vettel and Force India's Sergio Perez caught the championship leader in the later part of the grand prix.
Rosberg managed to keep the lead, despite increasing pressure from Perez who opted for a one-stop strategy. Perez held the charging Red Bull of Ricciardo but the Australian squeezed past him in the 66th lap and launched an attack on Rosberg for a race win.
Mercedes, already suffering from power loss, was caught by Ricciardo in the DRS zone of the back straight, and he breezed into the lead, going into the final corner on the 68th lap. The 24-year-old managed to keep the lead in the final two laps and won his maiden grand prix.
"This one is going to last for a long time! It was an amazing day and an amazing feeling to get my first victory and to stand on that podium," a delighted Ricciardo said in the press conference. "It didn't come easily - it only came in the last few laps. I think it was only in the last eight laps, when I was third... once I got past Perez that I knew that we had a real fight for the win on our hands."
"Knowing that Mercedes had some problems, it was important for us to capitalise and get this win. I did not want to let this slip out of my hands as it is not every day that you get the chance to win a Formula One race, so I am really glad I pulled it off."
Vettel managed to clinch the final podium position, followed by Jenson Button in the McLaren. Nico Hulkenberg of Force India continued his point-scoring streak and came home with 10 crucial points for the Silverstone-based outfit.
The final lap witnessed drama when Massa and Perez suffered massive crashes at Turn 1 but climbed out of their cars uninjured. Massa, who was lining up to overtake the Mexican, tapped the Force India on the back, and both drivers suffered a heavy impact by crashing into the barriers.
Stewards launched an investigation soon after the crash and found that Perez changed his racing line, when the Brazilian was attempting a pass. Perez was handed a five-place grid penalty for the Austrian Grand Prix as he was deemed at fault for causing the high-speed collision.
"On the final lap I was defending my position going into Turn 1 when I suddenly got hit from behind," Perez explained. "It was a big impact, but I am okay. I'm really sad for the team because we had an amazing race today and the one-stop strategy was working perfectly."
"It was not easy in the final laps and I was pushing hard to try and get ahead of Nico [Rosberg] for the lead. Daniel (Ricciardo) managed to get ahead of me when I had an electrical issue with my car, but I managed to reset the system for the final couple of laps. The podium was possible today and I'm just very disappointed for the points we have lost."
Fernando Alonso was the sixth fastest in his Ferrari, followed by Valtteri Bottas in the Williams and Jean-Eric Vergne in the Torro Rosso. Kevin Megnussen was the ninth fastest and completed a double-point finish for McLaren, while Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen took the final points-scoring position.
"We knew this would not be an easy race, because on this track, we were not fast enough down the straights and we had some problems in the slow corners," Raikkonen said. "On top of that, today I never had a clear track ahead of me, for one reason or another I was always stuck behind other cars. In the beginning I had some problems with the brakes and the handling of my car wasn't consistent."