Daniil Kvyat says it took '120 per cent dedication' to get his 2016 Formula 1 season back on track after suffering a dip in form in the wake of his Red Bull demotion.
The Russian racer started the 2016 season with Red Bull Racing and took a podium in the Chinese Grand Prix but was moved to the sister Scuderia Toro Rosso outfit after just four races as part of a swap with Max Verstappen.
While Verstappen went on to flourish at Red Bull – ending 2016 with one win and seven podiums -, Kvyat struggled with Toro Rosso thereafter, scoring just four more points in the remaining 17 races.
Though diminishing returns from the STR11 package with its year-old engine played their part, Kvyat has been honest about his difficulties in readjusting to the move and admits it took a big change in mind-set during the August break to focus.
“Many things happened during the summer break,” he admitted. “I had a good time off for the summer break and I said to myself just give it your best, what you can do, so that you don't have to regret anything. So I did my absolute best after the summer break. Of course, before the summer break I was just coming to the track, driving and not doing anything else.
“I came back with 120 per cent dedication, working on every detail again, trying to squeeze the maximum out of the package I had and it was starting to turn out much better.
“Obviously we knew there would be a few tracks that would suit us like Singapore and again it was satisfying to know that we left everything on the track and the team could see that I was working very hard again and it was enough.”
Proving a closer match to team-mate Carlos Sainz in the final races of the 2016 season and doing enough to convince Toro Rosso to re-sign him rather than promote GP2 Series champion Pierre Gasly in his place, Kvyat is now keen to maintain the renewed momentum in 2017 with the change in regulations.
“The off season is a bit of a relief obviously knowing this is where you're going to start. Staying with Toro Rosso is very good, we already know each other well so we will just keep up the hard work. We have to be as prepared as possible.”
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