With the Canadian Grand Prix all done and dusted, we’ve wasted no time in awarding our prestigious and coveted Top Dog award to race winner & grinner, Daniel Ricciardo.

But what of the rest? Who impressed and who depressed? Here’s our driver analysis of those who deserve a mention for both the right and wrong reasons.

Nico Rosberg

There’s no doubting that the 2nd place finish that Nico Rosberg managed to achieve on the 8th June 2014 at the Canadian Grand Prix was nothing short of a miracle. With 160bhp abandoning him mid-race, the equivalent of a Vauxhall Insignia, and next to nothing in terms of rear brakes, the German held off the chasing pack until succumbing to a charging Aussie on the penultimate lap.

Photo Credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas
Photo Credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas

The blueprint to Rosberg’s limp home was made possible by two things: Rosberg driving the wheels off his Merc, and the W05 Hybrid’s hyperspace pace. With a 20kph deficit down the two straights that make up sector three at the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve, Rosberg had to nail the first two sectors-something he managed to do brilliantly to the extent of being 0.5 faster prior to the back straight than the chasing Perez for 20+ laps, thus meaning the Mexican couldn’t get within striking range.

However, may we remember the villainy that preceded Rosberg’s  heroics, with the Germans lock-up on lap 25 going into the final chicane effectively gaining him an extra  six tenths on teammate Lewis Hamilton, with Rosberg cutting the corner, flooring it, and en route to setting the fastest lap! No penalty was given, perhaps unfairly by the F.I.A, leaving Hamilton behind Rosberg, in the hot turbulent air which in hindsight may have been the cause of Hamilton’s later brake failure.

So, hero or villain? The jury’s out, but we feel the heroic’s take pride of place on this one.

Sergio Perez

Like Rosberg, Perez’s race was one of both heroics and wrong-doing . His race-long defence of position ahead of the two Red Bull’s was admirable, especially after qualifying down in 13th, with the Mexican getting the best out of a two stop strategy to take it to Rosberg once the German’s MGU-K started to cry.

Despite Rosberg’s peril though, Sergio failed to take his and Force India’s golden opportunity for that first race win, prevented in part by an in-car electrical issue, thus forcing a complete reset from Perez with just two laps to go and in doing so gifting Ricciardo 2nd place. That, added to the and brake fade from the rears. It’s this brake fade that leads us on to the ‘wrong-doing part’…

To reset the car’s electrics whilst exceeding 200+ mph was massively impressive and testament to Perez’s undeniable talent behind the wheel. That said, he and the team knew the rear brakes were on the edge of death going into the final laps, yet they remained in pursuit of the podium they crave. Was that within their rights?

Personally, no.  In the bosom of a four car fight, it was a reckless call by the team and to a lesser extent Perez to stay out on track. The resulting crash between Perez and Massa was caused by either Perez moving around in the braking area (which was extended to accommodate the lack of braking input), or the car itself kinking to the right due to the brake issue, and into the path of Felipe Massa. Either way, that car was not fit for racing, as was Hamilton’s who dully stopped, and should have been retired. At the very least, Perez should have been ordered to drop back from the fight for victory and nurse the car and himself home in relative safety.

Either way, both Perez and Massa have since aired their views publicly via that most famous of battle grounds-Instagram.

Jenson Button

Beyond the scope of the FOM camera’s, which understandably were much more interested in the battle for lead, Jenson Button put in yet another storming performance in Canada, reminiscent of Sky Sport F1’s race of the century, the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix.

Starting from 9th, Button was probably not expecting any better come the end of the race, with the McLaren lagging behind that of the Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, Williams, and Force India in pace both over one lap and over 70, as in Canada.

Photo Credit: McLaren Media Centre
Photo Credit: McLaren Media Centre

However, Button found himself 8th with just three laps left to run on Sunday afternoon, and in touch with Fernando Alonso and the tyre-shod Nico Hulkenberg. With the Spanish-German tussle running wide at the hairpin, JB hugged the inside kerb and scampered away down the back straight, only to find the chaos-strewn scene at turn one moments later.

Both incidents combined earnt Button a net 4 places, and 4th place come the chequered flag. Okay, it was hardly the ‘from the back to front’ demolition job he achieved back in 2011, but it proved once again that the Brit is there to capitalise when proceedings fall in his favour.

Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa had the goldenest of golden opportunities to win his and Williams first race in over two years this weekend. Once the Mercedes’ downfall became apparent, Massa was 2nd, a fair way ahead of the chasing Red Bull’s and Force India’s, and hunting the Merc’s lead at a rate of 1.5 seconds a lap.

Three things let Massa down, however.

Firstly , tyres. The team radioed Felipe-baby mid way through the Brazilians 2nd stint of the three that were planned, telling him they were going to go to the end on that set of tyres… Yeah, that didn’t happen, and soon after taking the lead from the ailing Merc’s, Massa pitted, and dropped back to 5th.

Secondly, a wide Red Bull. Having caught pack up to the lead pack-yes that’s a lead pack in modern day Formula One, Massa should have breezed past the Renault-hindered, Pirelli-limited Sebastian Vettel, but didn’t. In fairness to Vettel, and again largely unnoticed in such an eventful race, positioned his car absolutely perfectly throughout the final sector to ensure that Massa could not pass, especially into the final chicane. That was the end of Massa’s charge…

…but not the end of his race. That was left to the third sticking point: Perez. But we’ve already touched on that one, with Massa deemed the innocent victim in his eyes, Rob Smedley’s eyes, my eyes, and most importantly, those of the F.I.A.

Max Chilton

Last but not least well actually he is least, is Max Chilton. It must have been hard for Max seeing teammate Jules Bianchi claim Marussia’s first ever points in Monaco, even if it has and will have a profound on the teams morale as a whole.

Photo Credit: Marussia F1 Team Media Centre
Photo Credit: Marussia F1 Team Media Centre

So, perhaps not the best way to get a pat on the back from team boss Graeme Lowdon was to punt himself and Bianchi off the track and out of the race on the first lap in Canada. It wasn’t a small shunt either, with the British driver’s car understeering into the side of Bianchi at turn three, slamming the latter into the wall with a hefty wallop, and leaving himself with front suspension damage. Poor form, Max.

Marussia had genuine hopes and pace as indicated on the long runs in practice to finish well again in Canada, and what with 2015 driver contracts scheduled for discussion over the coming months, that understeer could prove very costly for Chilton.

He also lost his coveted record of finishing all of the 25 GP’s he’d ever entered. Bugger.