Daniil Kvyat’s dedicated his shock podium in the German Grand Prix to his girlfriend and new daughter after revealing he had become a father on Saturday night.
The Russian drove a sublime race in changing conditions at Hockenheim, with an early pit stop for slick tires with 20 laps remaining proving crucial to his climb into the top three. After overtaking Lance Stroll, he lost out to Sebastian Vettel but still crossed the line third to give Toro Rosso its first podium in 11 years and Honda its first double podium since 1992, a result he says came at the end of a special weekend.
“It’s an incredible race for myself with a lot of things going on, the same for everyone,” Kvyat said. “The beginning of the race was so-so; we were always somewhere around the top 10, and I thought some points were possible today.
“The first time when I chose to go on slicks, it was the wrong moment then. The second time I think was the perfect moment, and that’s exactly when I thought when I saw the others pit after I did, I thought it’s our moment, and I was right. I exited the pits in P3, had to overtake Stroll for P2, and then from there on just hope the quicker cars would take time to catch me at the end of the race.
“I’m very happy with the podium. It’s a fantastic race for the team, 11 years since the last podium Sebastian (Vettel) did in 2008. I think everyone is really happy today and from my side of course, I would dedicate this podium to my girlfriend, Kelly, and to my daughter.”
The former Red Bull driver described his race as “a horror movie with a black comedy” as he was outside the points at the halfway stage, but sees the final result as a significant moment having returned to Formula 1 for a second chance at Toro Rosso this season.
“It was an incredible few years in my life. A lot of realizations in my life because there were sometimes tough times, and I thought maybe Formula 1 was over for me — especially podiums. But life just proves if you work hard and never give up, things are possible. And I think this is exactly what happened today.
“Even the race today, I managed to keep it cool. All these three difficult years just felt like they crashed from my shoulders finally. This changed today. It was hard work to reach this moment, and hopefully it can send a message out there that I’m ready now to fight for these kind of moments on a consistent basis, and there is no stronger message than a podium like this.”