AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost says that Daniil Kvyat's excellent fourth place in Sunday's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was down to the team making the right calls, and nothing to do with luck.
The day hadn't started well when Kvyat's team mate Pierre Gasly who started from the second row of the grid was soon sidelined by a radiator water leak, leaving Kvyat flying the team colours.
Kvyat had qualified in eighth place and made an early pit stop. But the race turned on the call to bring him in for a fresh set of soft tyres under a late safety car while others ahead stayed out.
The Russian went on to pick up three places at the restart with passes on Alex Albon, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez as a result of the call to finish just behind Renault's Daniel Ricciardo.
"Let me say it in this way: we were not lucky, we took the right decision," Tost told the media in Imola. "We decided to bring him in for the option tyre, which was a fantastic decision from the strategy group.
"All the other teams could have done the same. Some of them did it, some not. And we did it, and we got something out of it. Three places at the end, because he was seventh and afterwards he was fourth.
"This allowed Daniil to overtake Perez and Albon immediately before the first corner, followed by Leclerc a few corners later," Tost continued . "At that stage Daniil was in P4, but unfortunately, the race finished too early.
"He would have needed another couple of laps to overtake Ricciardo," Tost admitted. Nevertheless fourth is the best race result for Daniil this year, and the team showed a very good performance."
Tost particularly praised Kvyat's "fantastic move" to pass the Ferrari. "He likes this track," the team boss added. "He was very happy with the car, and he showed a real real good performance.”
Kvyat's fourth place at Imola means that despite Gasly's early retirement, AlphaTauri has cut the gap to Ferrari in sixth place to just 14 points in the constructors' standings.
"We are not concentrated on Ferrari," Tost insisted. "We do our best possible job, and then we will see what at the end would be the result.
"I think we are well prepared for the remaining races of the season and we’re looking forward to going to Istanbul to continue our momentum.”
Despite the praised heaped on Kvyat, it's unlikely to save his race seat with the team for 2021 which is widely expected to go to Honda-backed rookie Yuki Tsunoda.