The performance by Daniil Kvyat during the Singapore Grand Prix last season saved his seat for the 2017 Formula 1 season, Franz Tost has revealed.
Kvyat was demoted from the parent Red Bull Racing squad back to Scuderia Toro Rosso after two separate incidents at the Russian Grand Prix, where he clashed with Sebastian Vettel, with Max Verstappen going the other way from the Spanish Grand Prix onwards.
His prospects with the Faenza-based outfit looked bleak, as he had to contend with a strong team-mate in the form of Carlos Sainz Jr, who had confidence in his car, with Kvyat himself taking time to find confidence in himself, but the young Russian kept his head down to gradually improve his performance.
For part of the Grand Prix in Singapore, Kvyat was able to hold Verstappen at bay, finishing in ninth and his best performance in his return to the Red Bull sister team. This strong performance led to Toro Rosso deciding to keep him for 2017, as not only did he show a good qualifying but also a good race.
“I think that it was generally positive to show that he still has the speed and the car control to fight against Max and also leave him behind,” Tost told Motorsport.com.
“For his self-confidence it was very important. The big turnaround was done in Singapore where he really showed a good race and qualifying as well. And also afterwards he showed good performance. Therefore for me it was clear that he should continue with us.”
Tost is convinced that Kvyat will come back this season and become successful again, expecting a very strong season from the Russian.
“In sports in general, you have ups and downs,” added Tost. “But if a driver or a sportsman in general shows that he can win races and championships, then you know he has in mind all the ingredients he needs to become successful and to be successful.
“Therefore I’m convinced that Daniil is coming back, that he will become successful and I expect a very strong season from him in 2017.”