MONTREAL — Daniel Ricciardo might be coming out of the shadow of his more celebrated Red Bull teammate.
The 24-year-old Australian won the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday for his first career Formula One victory, joining four-time defending world champion Sebastian Vettel on the podium and snapping Mercedes' stranglehold on the circuit this season.
Ricciardo's win was the first this year for any driver other than Nico Rosberg, the pole-sitter and championship leader, and Lewis Hamilton, a three-time Canadian GP champion. But the twin Mercedes Silver Arrows were forced to slow down midway through the race to keep their brakes from overheating, and Ricciardo was able to take advantage.
"The race came to life at the end," said Ricciardo, who passed Rosberg with two laps to go. "It's still a little bit surreal. It's not like we were leading the whole race, so it's not like I had time to understand I was going to win."
Rosberg finished second under a caution caused during a last-lap crash between Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez, easily protecting his lead in the championship standings. The German has 140 of a possible 175 points through seven races, with two victories and five seconds. Hamilton, who went to the garage after 46 laps when his brakes overheated, remains second in the standings with 118 points.
With two fourth-place finishes, two thirds and a victory in his past five races, Ricciardo moved up to third with 79 points, passing Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who was sixth and has 69 points. "We still have a lot of work ahead of us, because the Mercedes are still quite a bit quicker," Ricciardo said.