Daniil Kvyat has been tipped to retain his seat at Toro Rosso in 2017, despite struggling since his return to the squad following the Russian Grand Prix.
Kvyat started the year at Red Bull, but team bosses decided to switch him with rising star Max Verstappen. Kvyat has been off-form since the change, admitting that he had been straining and asking too much of himself and the car in a bid to prove himself, and there has been rising speculation in the paddock that Kvyat could end up losing his place at Toro Rosso at the end of the current season to rising French star Pierre Gasly.
“Russian media has no f**king clue about anything,” Kvyat responded angrily when asked about the rumours. “I think that these are rumours and to be honest I’m not really in the mood to comment on them – waste of my f**king time.”
Now team boss Franz Tost has insisted that he still has belief in the young Russian and wants to see the driver stay with the squad in 2017.
“I personally hope he will race with us because I am convinced that sooner or later he will show his real performance and he will come back with his speed,” Tost told Autosport earlier this week.
Tost added that he could understand Kvyat’s lack of confidence since losing his Red Bull seat.
“It was a big rotation coming from Red Bull back to Toro Rosso,” Tost said. “I just hope that at the next races he gets everything together, and we can provide him with a competitive, fast car. Once he has a good result the confidence will come back.”
Kvyat has also received backing from the man widely believed to be behind Red Bull’s decision to drop him in favour of Verstappen.
“In terms of Kvyat, we’re holding onto him,” Red Bull racing consultant Dr Helmut Marko is quoted as saying in the German media this week, adding that he believed that the 22-year-old just needed time to clear his head and regain his confidence in order to start showing his proper potential again.
“Kvyat needs only one or two good races to get back his self-confidence,” Marko told Motorsport-Magazin.com, adding that Kvyat also needed improved support from the team. “At the last race at Hockenheim, Toro Rosso was generally poorly prepared, with the new parts, the vehicle was not yet properly tuned.”
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