Daniil Kvyat scored the best result of his fledgling Formula 1 career in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix by finishing fourth ahead of Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
Kvyat has endured a tough start to life with the former champion team in just his second season in F1, finishing no higher than ninth in his first five races and failing to match Ricciardo for pace.
After qualifying in fifth place on Saturday, Kvyat made a great start to jump up to fourth ahead of Ricciardo off the line where he remained for most of the race.
A late safety car period allowed Ricciardo to make a free pit stop in sixth place, and used his fresher tires to squeeze past Kimi Raikkonen with a move that the Finn felt was “not very nice”.
Red Bull ordered Kvyat to let Ricciardo past and up into fourth place, believing that the Australian driver stood a chance of passing the ailing Lewis Hamilton in third.
However, after failing to find a way past the Mercedes, Ricciardo kept his half of the in-race agreement by letting Kvyat pass him at the final corner, handing the Russian a well-deserved fourth place finish.
“I am happy with today’s race, it was my best finish in Formula 1 and it was a great result for the team to finish fourth and fifth,” Kvyat said. “I had a good start and was able to control my race from then on.
“We took a gamble with strategy allowing Daniel past after the last safety car to try and fight for a podium position, as he was on the faster super-soft tires.
“But as he was unable to pass anyone, as agreed, he gave the place back on the last lap. We hope we can carry this momentum onto the next races.”
Ricciardo was similarly upbeat after the race, and defended his move on Raikkonen at Mirabeau.
“It was a good race today and a good result for the team,” Ricciardo said. “I had some fun in the last few laps trying to get close to Hamilton and Vettel to fight for a podium position. I knew we were in a position to attack in the end which made it exciting I think.
“The team worked well, Dany let me past to have a crack at the podium and I gave back the place on the last lap when I couldn’t get past Hamilton.
“I had a little incident with Kimi and it’s hard to get a clean move without a little contact in Monaco, I appreciate the stewards not taking any further action and I think the crowd and the fans enjoyed it. We’ll try and keep up the pace in the next few races to hopefully stay in the top five.”