Daniil Kvyat says his Toro Rosso contract extension feels like a second chance after he feared for his F1 future earlier this season.
Toro Rosso announced on Saturday morning it will be retaining Kvyat alongside Carlos Sainz in an unchanged driver line-up next year. With the Russian having been demoted from Red Bull after four races this season and struggling initially when back at Toro Rosso, he admits he has to prove himself again to the team.
- Toro Rosso retains Kvyat alongside Sainz for 2017
Asked if the new contract feels like a second chance, Kvyat replied: “It does in a way, yes, because this year has been incredibly long and rocky.
“It’s good to settle down now and get this chance because next year everything starts from zero. It’s a new car, a new opportunity and a new season. So of course I’m going to do my absolute best to use this chance as well as possible and it all comes together much better now.”
And Kvyat admits he was fearing for his future while struggling earlier this season, but says his own turnaround in form helped convince Red Bull to back him.
“I had a bit of a drop down on my performance in the middle of the year, obviously for various reasons. Obviously at that point it looked like I wouldn’t be in really if I continued like that, and then I managed to get everything together after the summer break.
“It was a very important few races because in Red Bull, if you have a trust from them you can be sure it’s because you are a very good driver.”
With the Red Bull young driver program not requiring drivers to bring hefty sponsorship, Kvyat says he took confidence from knowing his own performances would be enough to retain his seat if they were good enough.
“In Formula One you never know. In many other teams there are many factors relying on if you want to be there next year but at least at Toro Rosso with Red Bull I knew that if I did a good job with good results they are going to keep me.
“So that’s what I did after the summer break and even if it was very difficult with this power unit issues and so on, the only real opportunity to shine was Singapore, and to be honest there was quite a lot of pressure because I knew that was the only place with some good opportunities and I delivered there.
“There were a few good qualifyings after that and I felt again back to my normal and it was enough to get confirmation so I’m happy and I’m looking forward to the work.”
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