Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost says that Daniil Kvyat is a "more mature and relaxed" driver as he approaches a third stint with the team and accepts that the 24-year-old's Red Bull promotion in 2015 "happened a bit too fast" for him.
Kvyat suffered a well-documented demotion from Red Bull back to Toro Rosso in 2016 and was dropped altogether a year later, spending last season out of racing while working as Ferrari's simulator driver.
Now back in F1 with the team he debuted with as a 19-year-old, Tost is backing Kvyat to demonstrate his talent and show exactly why he earned another shot at F1 this season.
"We all know that Daniil Kvyat is a very high skilled driver, he showed this in the past," said Tost. "He won GP3, and then he in 2014 when he was racing the first year with us he also showed there a very good performance, and then he came to Red Bull Racing and everything happened a bit too fast.
One thing to mention from the Franz Tost media session earlier... When answering questions about Alexander Albon he said that Albon's FE deal was signed 'earlier than we expected' but said that Dan Ticktum was never under consideration for an STR drive for this season. #F1Testing
— Rob Watts (@robwattsf1) February 18, 2019
"He came back to us and then there were some problems with our car in those days, we were not so competitive. [He has had] the chance to learn a lot [and to mature more] and he is now back and we have the Daniil Kvyat back in our car that we know from former times, therefore Daniil Kvyat will do a good job if the car is going well."
Asked how Kvyat had changed in his time out of F1, Tost responded: "He is more matured and all the more relaxed. Once more, if the car package is good, he will be there."
With Frenchman Pierre Gasly earning promotion from Toro Rosso to the senior Red Bull team after only one full season, comparisons have been drawn between his and Kvyat's career projection, but Tost was quick to dismiss this suggestion.
"There's a big difference between these two drivers. Daniil Kvyat came directly from GP3 to Formula 1, which already was a big risk, but he did it because he's a really highly skilled driver," said Tost.
"Pierre Gasly has a completely different education in this way because first of all [he did] the Renault World Series, then he did two years in Formula 2, and then a year of Super Formula in Japan.
"[Gasly's experience] was on a much, much higher level than Daniil Kvyat, because Kvyat did not have that much time.
"Daniil would have also stayed with us for two or three years but Vettel changed to Ferrari and Red Bull needed a driver, this was the reason why. It was not programmed that way from the very beginning onwards."
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