Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost says he expects a competitive Daniil Kvyat on his return to Formula 1 in the 2019 season.

Kvyat will complete a shock return to F1 next year as replacement for Red Bull-bound Pierre Gasly, who in turn has filled the void left by Daniel Ricciardo following his bombshell switch to Renault.

It will mark Kvyat’s third stint at Toro Rosso after he was promoted to Red Bull for the 2015 campaign, only to be demoted four races into 2016 for Max Verstappen.

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He went on to lose his drive altogether towards the end of last season as Red Bull’s junior team opted to field Gasly and Brendon Hartley, with the partnership continuing into this year.

“He is relaxed, I have the feeling he is much more measured that the year before. I expect a competitive Daniil Kvyat,” Tost said.

“We all know he is very fast, that he has a very high level of natural speed and he just has to sit in the car, push the right-hand pedal and you will see he will show good results because he can do it. We all know this.”

Following the confirmation of his return to the Faenza squad, Kvyat revealed he had spent his year away from the sport focusing on his mental state after a difficult period with Red Bull and Toro Rosso.

“I’m very positive now, very happy to be back,” he added. “But you cannot be happy forever. You have to acknowledge there is a lot of work ahead.

“I’ve been working on myself a lot this year. It’s very important I think to be in a good mental window with yourself, and this year, it’s exactly what I was focusing on, even though some days it wasn’t certain that I was going to be coming back.

“Once I knew, I was confident that it was going to be very positive.”

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko also backed Kvyat and believes the Russian has become “more mature” for spending a year on the sidelines.

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