Daniil Kvyat says he comes into 2017 full of confidence his worst days at Toro Rosso are behind him after a calm approach helped him to a strong finish last season.
Kvyat cut a sorry figure in the races after his demotion from Red Bull to Toro Rosso ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix last year, with the low moment coming after qualifying in Germany. The summer break prompted a turnaround in form for the Russian driver and his performances slowly improved afterwards, though it coincided with Toro Rosso's car dropping out of contention for points.
Asked about how he felt about the 2017 season, Kvyat said: "I was feeling good in the car [in the final races]. Me and my engineering crew were feeling confidence when we started doing our own thing, and we are very pleased with how everything worked. We hope to carry all of this into next year."
Reflecting on the difficult moments of 2016, Kvyat says he is pleased with how he responded to the setback of being replaced by Max Verstappen.
"When they drop you like this into a car that's difficult to drive, [immediately struggling] is what you have to expect more or less! It took time to be at my Red Bull... my engineer was also new to it and we were thrown into new things. It was hard to find the right approach but it seems like we found it and I'm just pleased that it came."
Immediatley after his demotion the Russian driver had often sounded angry on the radio when talking to his team, but he says a change in mentality after the summer break -- which he says was the "turning point" in his season -- was key to the turnaround that eventually earned him another season at Toro Rosso.
"After the summer break we became much more relaxed. Everything was a lot more under control in terms of the garage, I was a lot more calm with my radio things and communications and everything. All this calm from me and my engineer it put the confidence in all of us around -- it was very helpful."