Kvyat claims maiden F1 podium thanks to late drama, learns meaning of ‘never give up’

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Daniil Kvyat kept his head whilst all about him were losing theirs to finish second in the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday and record his first podium finish in Formula 1.

Kvyat spent much of his race battling outside of the top five, but after moving into fourth place following problems for Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, the Russian ascended into second after a late clash between Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Rosberg.

The stewards threatened to rain on his parade when they slapped him with a ten second time penalty for exceeding track limits and gaining an advantage earlier in the race, but Ricciardo was too far behind to gain a position from his teammate.

Speaking on the podium after the race, Kvyat was pleased with the result, but his thoughts lay with Jules Bianchi following the Frenchman’s death at the age of 25 last week.

“Thank you to everyone,” Kvyat said. “It’s been a very tough year and race and everything, but I think as a team we deserve this podium very much. I thank my team for this podium.

“This podium it goes first of all to Jules Bianchi and to his family. We lost a great guy, a great driver, so all my thoughts are with him right now.

“First podium, it’s a great achievement and it feels great.”

Kvyat admitted after the race that he thought his race was over at the first corner when he got a flat spot on his tire, but refused to give up, and was pleased that he did not back down.

“After turn one I thought my race was over to be honest because I got such a massive flat spot, I could hardly stay on track,” Kvyat said. “But then the team told me to keep pushing.

“Some people say ‘never give up’. Until today I didn’t know what it means really, but today I really learned what it means never to give up because it can always come your way.”

Kvyat becomes the second youngest podium finisher in the history of F1, beaten only by Sebastian Vettel, and also secures the best result for a Russian driver in the sport.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.