Daniil Kvyat says he is in a very positive frame of mind as he makes his Formula 1 return in 2019 with Toro Rosso to complete an unfinished business in the sport.
After a high in 2015, the year 2016 came as a low point for Kvyat as he was demoted from Red Bull Racing to Toro Rosso for Max Verstappen after only four races in the season. It continued to be a slide for the Russian even in 2017.
So much so, he was forced to be dropped from the team. The Russian was then announced as Ferrari’s simulator driver as he replaced Jean-Eric Vergne for 2018 and in less than a year, he has signed again with Red Bull to make his F1 return.
He revealed that the talks intensified in August and by Monza, it was decided that he will return to Toro Rosso. Not sharing more details on his deal, Kvyat said he was happy how the negotiations went through and it is certainly different then what it was before.
“I don’t want to go into big details about my deal,” he said. “For sure, we had few negotiations, it was a bit different to before but I am really happy with the deal I have and I am very happy to look in the future like that.”
Much had been talked about his mental space following his demotion with Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko stressing that the Russian wasn’t upto the mark last year but has since improved and seems very matured in his dealings.
Kvyat didn’t want stress on the change but admitted that he seems to be in a very positive frame of mind, adding that the experiences has helped him to grow as a person. “Talking about better place, it is hard to say but one thing I am sure I am very positive now, very happy to be back,” he said.
“It is very important I think to be able to be in a good mental window and this year I think that’s what I was focusing on even though some days it wasn’t certain that I am going to come back but once I knew, I was confident that I am going to be very positive.
“Those ups and downs, they are part of life. If you look everyone, every athlete career’s, it is never a straight line. In a way, you need those days, you need those periods and you have to overcome them and this is exactly what’s happening.
“So, there is a new challenge ahead and I am very much looking forward to it. I have some unfinished business here, that’s how I feel like [and] with Red Bull also.” Kvyat also thanked Ferrari and Maurizio Arrivabene for the support they extended towards him in his difficult times.
He said the deal with them was pretty straightforward and it brought happiness to him especially since a lot of his feedback during race weekends helped the team to overcome difficulties.
“I was missing racing but at the same time, it was great working with Ferrari – such a legendary team, I am very thankful to the team and also my role had some impact directly on the track performance. We have been trying to help the guys on the track to choose the right set up.
“We have been doing it really well. It helped Sebastian and Kimi and the engineers, so you can see from outside a little bit, it is quite cool,” he said, adding that he was only involved in the performance side and so he wouldn’t have much details to take from Ferrari to Red Bull in 2019.
He also revealed that he already drove the 2018 Ferrari car at Fiorano early in the year and he could straightaway feel at home with the current spec machinery. Kvyat also cleared the discussions with Marko on Daniel Ricciardo’s news to Renault.
He said the call was only to greet Marko and it was a mere co-incidence that he didn’t know of Ricciardo’s decision by then. “I wouldn’t say so exactly [that I gave him the news] but I was just checking how he was doing really and I just called to say ‘hi’,” said Kvyat.
“He was missing the news about Daniel and since we spoke – [it was] probably a great co-incidence at the same time but no, I wasn’t bringing any news to anyone. I just asked how things were going and [it] happened to be other things were happening in the background.