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So, with the F1 drivers' parade finished, the grand event of the weekend was now soon upon us. Spectators streamed back to the stands, and soon everyone was waiting expectantly for 2pm, when the proceedings of the 2014 Formula One Grand Prix of Canada would get underway.
Ready for the Race
Cameras at the ready
Looking across stand 11
After a low fly-by by a Canadian Forces jet, the F-1 cars came out for their formation lap.
F-18 flyby
Tri-pointed star everywhere
Approaching Race Start
Just after 2pm, with all of the cars formed up on the grid under a blazing sun and on top of 49C pavement, they were off. The cars came roaring out in front of us, staying clean through the first two turns. Leader Nico Rosberg was a bit slow off the start and teammate Lewis Hamilton nearly passed him on the outside of turn 1. That tussle resulted in Red Bull's Vettel slipping past Hamilton into third.
The starting grid
No, it's not a double-image
The top ten
Despite the clean start, the first lap did not complete without incident. At the back, the two cars of the Marussia team collided with each other. Both cars were unable to continue, and the incident was bad enough (debris and oil all over the track) that the safety car appeared and the race went into a holding mode.
Safety car out already
Raikkonen's Ferrari
The current leader
Ricciardo in second
Safety car still out
Scuderia Ferrari
Finally, after an interminable six laps of safety car, the track was cleaned up and the green flag shown. Hamilton remained in third behind Red Bull's Vettel.
Vettel Spinout
Rosberg Closeup
Bottas' Williams
It wasn't long, however, before the superior speed of the Mercedes saw Lewis Hamilton catch up to and make a passing maneuver on Vettel for second. We were now back the usual 2014 Mercedes 1-2 situation...
Goings on at McLaren
Hard-charging Massa
Front-runner Rosberg
Further back in the field, there was good racing going on between Red Bull, Williams, and - surprisingly - the Force India team. They were doing exceptionally well today.
Hard braking for first
Traffic
That's not right
I found the mid-part of the race a bit hard to follow. With so many drivers coming into the pits for tire changes, it was hard to keep track of who was really ahead of whom.
The flying Australian
Mercedes in the lead
Kimi Raikkonen
Up at the front of the race, Hamilton has closed in on Rosberg and the two Mercedes had some high-stakes dukeouts. There were a couple of hairy moments, including one where leader Rosberg failed to brake properly for the final chicane and went straight through, maintaining his position ahead of Hamilton. Up in the stands, we were fairly sure this would result in a penalty of some sorts. But as it turned out, no....
No Maru for you, K
As the race wore on, we started to notice that the two Mercedes were not pulling strongly away from the rest of the pack, which by now had dwindled down (through attrition) to roughly ten cars. In fact, word came from the pits that both of the Mercedes were experiencing some sort of mechanical issue. And the rest of the pack were not that far behind them! Was starting to look like this could get interesting!
Ship-borne fans
Then, on lap 47, drama: Lewis Hamilton's technical issues caused rear brake overuse, and after some final desperate moves, he retired. So... one of the Mercedes cars was now out - and the other one apparently suffering similar issues.
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