AlphaTauri driver Daniil Kvyat praised the squad’s “amazing” race pace and reckons his home event in Russia “couldn’t have gone any better.”
Kvyat lined up from 11th place on the grid on Hard tyres and ran deep into the race before switching to Mediums after 30 of the 53 laps.
Kvyat rose to eighth position and chased Esteban Ocon to the chequered flag, coming home just seven-tenths down on the Renault driver.
It marked Kvyat’s third successive top 10 finish in the wake of classifying ninth at Monza and a season-best seventh at Mugello.
“It’s fantastic, I’m really happy, my home race couldn’t have gone any better,” said Kvyat, who finished in the points in Russia for only the second time in his career.
“I wanted this strategy, I wanted to go strong and I was confident we could make things work and, in fact, we did.
“When I saw [Lewis] Hamilton behind me and when I was able to keep him behind him for a couple of laps, I thought our pace in the race was amazing.
“It was perfect. Just a shame not being able to force Ocon into a mistake, otherwise it could have been P7. We were quicker but I can’t complain.”
Kvyat added that “I know that if I can do everything right on Sunday, I’m the best, I can fly.
“It was exactly one of those days, I got everything right with my engineer: the set-up, the strategy. Once I was in clean air I felt that ‘this is my race’.”