Daniil Kvyat believes he could have been the man on the top step of the podium in Spain after seeing Red Bull replacement Max Verstappen win in his old car.
Kvyat was replaced ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix for the teen prodigy, dropping back to former team Toro Rosso in a bid to regain his form and confidence. Verstappen's debut culminated in a remarkable maiden victory and Kvyat says there is no reason to think he could not have done the same had the switch not occurred.
Asked what he thought seeing Verstappen win, he said: "I don't care to be honest. I'm now doing my own job with my own new car. Of course it makes me think that I had the potential to do it, of course, no doubt. It just shows that we have the potential to do it, simple as that."
Kvyat had to settle for a single point in the end and admitted to struggling with the lower levels of downforce in the STR11 after a frustrating qualifying left him 13th on the grid. However he is happy with how he improved, especially in the second half of the weekend.
"I think plenty of positives, the second half of the race was very competitive. Plenty of positives to pick up ... a good race. In the end we had a strong pace, we could have got a lot more points probably without being lapped. The first half of the race was a bit difficult, we lost some time, but then once we got in clean air it was all very competitive so I'm very happy."
Explaining his struggles further, Kvyat said he was always fighting an uphill battle for a strong result after a difficult start.
"I have no confidence on the brakes, with a new car it's always very difficult. I broke quite early [for Turn 1] and of course they overtook me. Then I was always boxed in between cars ... just bad luck on the first lap. Then I had to give two positions back after the safety car which didn't help at all, we lost a lot of time there. Generally it made our race difficult so it's another few points which we lost. But it was still a positive race."