Formula One's Driver Power Rankings After 2014 Canadian Grand Prix
The 2014 Canadian Grand Prix was a classic.
Daniel Ricciardo won with a beautiful drive from sixth on the grid, but there were top performances from several men.
Nico Rosberg's damage-limitation drive was excellent, Jean-Eric Vergne comprehensively trounced teammate Daniil Kvyat and Sebastian Vettel could easily have been the man on the top step of the podium.
After Canada's drama, here are my second set of driver power rankings.
Note on Power Rankings
These rankings should not be confused with the actual championship table.
Rather than looking solely at points, they take into account race results, qualifying, overall performance of each driver and how they stack up against their team-mates. The relative pace of each driver's car is also factored in.
Only performance at the last six races is considered.
The previous rankings, based on the first six races of the year and published after Monaco, are here. All position changes are relative to the positions in that article.
Two drivers departed from the Top 10 after disappointing races in Canada.
Romain Grosjean was eighth and Jules Bianchi ninth following Monaco. However, poor (Bianchi) and average (Grosjean) weekends for them and good ones for other drivers see them exit the rankings.
Sergio Perez had a good enough race and season in general to take one of the vacant spots, and he is establishing himself as the better tyre manager of the Force India drivers. But he loses a few brownie points for his collision with Felipe Massa on the final lap.
Jenson Button is also showing impressive form, but he didn't quite make it on this occasion.
10. Felipe Massa
Going up against the highly rated Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Massa has found a new lease of life and is one half of a very closely fought team-mate rivalry.
The only criticism is that he has, for whatever reason, not got the same results as the Finn. Massa seems to have a trouble magnet attached to his Williams—if something can go wrong, it almost certainly will.
He could have won in Canada had his attacking driving been a little better. As it was, the fourth place he was heading for would have been a decent finish, but the last-lap crash involving Sergio Perez took that away.
Perez was more at fault, but Massa could perhaps have allowed a little more room.
A good performance, but another poor result.
Massa is a new entry at 10th.
9. Jean-Eric Vergne
Jean-Eric Vergne has perhaps not received the love he deserves for his performances in 2014, and there was a reasonable argument for his inclusion in the initial rankings.
In Canada, the Frenchman qualified a stellar eighth in his Renault-powered Toro Rosso. He was always going to struggle to maintain that place on Sunday, but he did at least spend every lap ahead of his team-mate, and he raced the McLarens in the closing stages.
He inherited eighth after the Perez-Massa accident to record his second points finish of the year.
Vergne is a new entry at ninth.
8. Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel produced one of his finest qualifying laps of the year to line up third in Canada, behind the two Mercedes. And whatever the final result says, he was probably the quicker Red Bull driver in the race.
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo won because of a blistering in-lap which saw him jump ahead of Vettel at the second round of pit stops.
Unable to challenge the identical car ahead of him, the German was left to pick up the scraps. He followed Ricciardo past Perez late on and finished third, but he could easily have ended the race in the barriers.
This in-car video shows how Vettel, using great awareness and skill, avoided Felipe Massa's out-of-control car when the Brazilian hit Sergio Perez on the last lap.
Vettel goes up two places to eighth.
7. Daniil Kvyat
Daniil Kvyat had never driven the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve before, and teammate Jean-Eric Vergne loves the place. Vergne qualified a stunning eighth, with Kvyat down in 15th.
But after the first round of stops, they were running 10th (Vergne) and 11th (Kvyat).
The young Russian's progress didn't last. A spin at the first hairpin dropped him to the back of the field, and he retired soon after with a loss of drive.
It was a disappointing weekend in which he was comprehensively out-qualified and out-raced.
Kvyat drops one place to seventh.
6. Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas put in a lap when it mattered on Saturday to line up fourth on the grid. He held position at the start but, like the Red Bulls, got caught behind the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg after his first stop.
Unlike them, he also got caught behind it after his second stop.
What could have been a very strong race was ruined, and after late car problems linked to overheating, he was forced to drop back. Though lucky to pick up seventh in the end, without the Force Indias he might have been on the podium.
But Felipe Massa looked the quicker Williams in Montreal.
Not Bottas' best weekend, but it wasn't terrible either.
Daniil Kvyat's mediocre show raises him one spot to sixth.
5. Fernando Alonso
Montreal was never going to suit the Ferrari, but Fernando Alonso did the best he could.
More importantly, he again out-qualified and out-raced team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
A lack of straight-line speed kept the Spaniard from joining up with the lead group as Nico Rosberg slowed in the later stages. Cooped up behind Nico Hulkenberg, he lost out on fifth place thanks to a lovely opportunistic overtake from Jenson Button on the penultimate lap.
But sixth place is better than Ferrari would have expected, and Alonso has now scored in all seven races of 2014.
Alonso stays fifth.
4. Nico Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg could only manage 11th in qualifying, but he was ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez who lined up 13th.
In the race, Perez got the better start. The safety car period put the Force Indias firmly into play, and Hulkenberg spent most of the first half of the race holding up the Red Bulls and Valtteri Bottas.
His single stop saw him fall behind the Bulls but stay ahead of Bottas. His tyres gave up towards the end and he struggled, but as others dropped out, Hulkenberg made progress.
He came home in fifth to maintain his 100 percent scoring record for 2014.
The Hulk drops one spot to fourth.
3. Nico Rosberg
Nico Rosberg's display in Canada was worthy of a win, but he'll have been happy with second.
He out-qualified Lewis Hamilton at a track where the Brit has always excelled, and he was leading until his car —and Hamilton's—lost ERS power due to a control electronics problem.
While his team-mate retired, Rosberg somehow battled to the end. He held off Sergio Perez for several dozen laps, but he was powerless to stop Daniel Ricciardo zipping by a few tours from the end.
It was certainly one of his best-ever performances, and the 18 points he picked up could prove crucial at the end of the year.
Rosberg rises one spot to third.
2. Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton didn't do much wrong in Montreal on Sunday, but he left with zero points after his second DNF of the year.
Following a disappointing qualifying display, he was quicker in the race than Nico Rosberg and looked likely to pass before both cars encountered problems.
He did take the lead briefly after the twin control electronics breakdowns, but he retired with brake failure.
Two failures to finish have left Hamilton 22 points off the championship lead, and he surely can't afford many more.
He drops one place to second.
1. Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo won the Canadian Grand Prix thanks to two key moments.
The first was when he jumped Sebastian Vettel in the pit stops, despite the German stopping a lap earlier.
The second was when he brilliantly overtook Sergio Perez around the outside into Turn 1 to give himself the opportunity to pass then-leader Nico Rosberg.
Though perhaps not as quick as Vettel in the race, Ricciardo nonetheless came out on top. Those two moments of excellence made all the difference.
He moves to the top of the rankings.
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