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.