Daniil Kvyat thinks the future is looking “quite promising” for Red Bull after he took third place in the Chinese Grand Prix.
Kvyat put himself in podium contention at the start, diving down the inside of Sebastian Vettel into Turn 1/2, a move that irked the Ferrari driver no end, with the four-time Formula One World Champion later describing it as “suicidal”
. Kvyat then pitted under early safety car period, before rising back to the front after the re-start, although in the end he was unable to hang on for second and hold off a recovering Vettel.
It was the Russian's first podium since Hungary last year – and only the second of his career – and one that he was clearly pleased with, despite the furore with Vettel.
“Well, first of all it feels excellent to finish on the podium,” said Kvyat. “After Hungary it felt like a quite long time. So yeah, you always want to see the result and today it confirmed itself.
“Yeah, the start went well, corner one, corner two was a bit risky obviously. In the end we can talk about it forever but it paid off and I'm on the podium so it feels good.
“The race itself was quite controlled. Obviously I think our main competitor through the whole race was Sebastian. I think he made an excellent recovery. We probably missed out a little bit not having a soft tyre in the end for the last stint and on the medium we couldn't really resist for too long to him. And yeah, he overtook us.
“But all in all, it was a very encouraging weekend. We are consistently third-fastest team on the track and I think with a bit of development in the future we can give a fight to these guys even a bit more. It's all looking quite promising for the future.”
Asked what he can learn from the race going forward and his plan for improving in the future races - including his home race next in Russia, he replied: “Like I said before, overall it was quite an encouraging race. I thought we were close in our pace to Ferrari; through the race we were challenging them but we had to fit medium which is the stiffer compound compared to soft. When we both were on the soft, I think our pace was very similar and obviously Mercedes is still a bit of a step ahead but with the developments in the future races, probably around Canada, I think we can make a bit of a step forward.
“In some circumstances, I think we can be quite a big challenge to them and today, after the contact at turn one my car was also quite damaged.
“I don't know at the moment how much, I still haven't spoken to the team but there was a side pod damaged and I could see some pieces flying away. I still have to discover how much it was but all in all today the race was promising.
“We are on the right way.”