Kvyat barges way to fourth

Daniil Kvyat
Daniil Kvyat

Daniil Kvyat overtook his way to a remarkable fourth place finish at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday, putting his difficult qualifying behind him.

In the process, the Russian, in his first season with Red Bull Racing, has also overtaken team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in the overall driver’s standings, as he climbed the order to seventh.

Daniil Kvyat

Daniil Kvyat

Kvyat had a nightmare outing on Saturday which forced him to start the race 12th, while Ricciardo looked back on form, starting fifth on the grid.

Both made great starts off the line, with the Australian getting the jump and circulating third, while Kvyat was eighth.

The Russian was the man on the move though, as he began to cut his way through the field as those around him struggled on alternative tyre strategies.

Disaster struck for Ricciardo after 20 laps though, with his car simply switching off at the final chicane as he was amongst the battle for the final podium position.

Kvyat was promoted to fifth, but was forced into the pits late on as his tyres approached their breaking point.

And it turned out to be a master stroke as he put on a great late show to climb back up through the points.

Easily dispatching Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen, he battled it out with Felipe Massa too (pictured), getting the better of him at the end of the Kemmel Straight.

The tyre issue turned out to haunt former Red Bull racer Sebastian Vettel as his right rear Pirelli burst with barely two laps to go, dropping him out of podium contention, promoting Kvyat up to fourth.

“It was a very interesting race and really good fun today,” he said afterwards.

“I had a lot of overtaking opportunities and the car performed well.

“The strategy from the team to keep me out during the virtual safety car was good and we were able to have a strong last stint.

“The team did a good job and we scored some solid points.

“We should be happy with the performance today and hopefully we can continue this form over the next few races.”

Team boss Christian Horner was delighted with Kvyat’s performance.

He said: “Dany drove a very strong race to finish fourth from his starting grid position of 12th.

“He produced some very strong overtaking manoeuvres and the strategy worked very well, so we were able to score some very useful points.”

He admitted his team would have to investigate Ricciardo’s retirement though, with the issue not being immediately obvious.

“It’s a shame for Daniel; he had a great start to move up to third.

“He was running a similar strategy to Dany and I’m sure he would have been challenging for the podium.

“It was a lost opportunity but overall a reasonable weekend for the team.”

Kvyat sits seventh in the driver’s championship on 57 points, with Ricciardo eighth on 51.

Red Bull Racing are fourth in the constructor’s race, a way behind Williams in third.