The Russian driver saw his opportunity and went for it, and was rewarded with his second Formula One podium.
The excitement of the 2016 Chinese GP came to a surprising crescendo in the pre-podium room as Sebastian Vettel took Danill Kvyat to task for what he deemed a “suicide” move.
But the Russian simply smiled and held his own.
“We can talk for hours about it but I am on the podium; if I didn’t go for it who knows where I would be. I will keep on risking like this and everyone should expect that!” he later said.
Such moves from the likes of Kvyat are exactly what Formula One needs right now.
The new tyre rules that allow teams to take three different compounds to a race has opened up strategies and reinvigorated races in a way no one had predicted. However this is mostly true of the midfield and below – so we need brave drivers to take the lunge and propel themselves forward, and give the front runners some food for thought.
We’ve had two races on the trot featuring two Mercedes drivers and a Ferrari on the podium – it looked certain that’s how most of the podiums this year would be.
A conservative start from Dany Kvyat would probably have seen him finish in the top ten, but mixed further down with the Williams and the Toro Rossos. Instead, he saw his opportunity and grabbed the proverbial bull by the horns and we were given a cracking race.
It feels mega to be back on the F1 podium! Thank you all for support 😉 Excellent job by the whole team. pic.twitter.com/WOlrVGEMJY
— Daniil Kvyat (@Dany_Kvyat) 17 April 2016
We’re now applauding the welcome return of Red Bull to the front of the grid, rather than the front of the midfield. Daniel Ricciardo was leading after a cracking start, only to be robbed by a tyre blowout while the laps were still in single digits. He recovered to finish fourth, ahead of Raikkonen who spun as a result of contact with Vettel in the aforementioned incident.
Formula One needs the likes of Kvyat, Bottas, Hulkenberg and Perez to take a leap of faith and seize every opening they see – as one famous driver once uttered, “If you no longer go for a gap that exists, you’re no longer a racing driver.”
Such a move from Hulkenberg would surely give him a shot at his first podium, or Bottas his first win. (Yes, okay, other cars would have to have some issues, but that isn’t unheard of in our sport.) Variety is the spice of life, and we enjoy seeing the midfield drivers snatch podiums in thrilling races.
This is only Kvyat’s second podium in F1, and it’s thoroughly deserved. It’s these split-second decisions that show off the incredible skills of our drivers. It’s these sorts of moves that liven up races and make fans sit up and take notice.
— Formula 1 (@F1) 17 April 2016
And it reminds teams of just how talented their drivers are. Let’s hope Kvyat is able to give us more performances like this, and maybe his peg at Red Bull will become a little less shoggly.
2016 Chinese GP Results
- Nico Rosberg MERCEDES
- Sebastian Vettel FERRARI
- Danill Kvyat RED BULL
- Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL
- Kimi RAIKKONEN FERRARI
- Felipe Massa WILLIAMS
- Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES
- Max Verstappen TORO ROSSO
- Carlos Sainz Jr TORO ROSSO
- Valtteri Bottas WILLIAMS
- Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA
- Fernando Alonso MCLAREN
- Jenson Button MCLAREN
- Esteban Guttierez HAAS
- Nico Hulkenberg FORCE INDIA (Fastest Lap)
- Marcus Ericsson SAUBER
- Kevin Magnussen RENAULT
- Pascal Wehrlein MANOR
- Romain Grosjean HAAS
- Felipe Nasr SAUBER
- Rio Haryanto MANOR
- Jolyon Palmer RENAULT
Formula One returns for the Russian GP on 1st May