Daniil Kvyat has been focusing on his mental state during his season away from racing in Formula 1 ahead of his return with Toro Rosso next season.
Less than a year after he was dropped by Toro Rosso in favor of Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley, Kvyat has been confirmed as one of the team’s 2019 drives with Gasly being promoted to Red Bull Racing. Kvyat has been a test and development driver for Ferrari in his time away from the grid and he says his mindset was one thing he needed to work on before returning.
“Talking about better place, it’s hard to say,” Kvyat said. “One thing I know for sure is that I’m very positive now, very happy to be back. 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.
“All those ups and downs, they are part of life. You look at everyone, every athlete’s career, it’s never a straight line to the top. It’s always like this. In a way you need those days, you need those periods, and you have to overcome them. That’s exactly what’s happening. There is a new challenge ahead, and I’m very much looking forward to it.”
Although he lost his seat with Toro Rosso just 12 months ago, Kvyat says Red Bull has shown renewed faith in him with a contract that offers him encouraging future prospects.
“(The contract is) long term. I don’t want to be going into big details now about my deal. For sure we had a few negotiations. It was a bit different to before. I think my manager, Nicolas (Todt), and Helmut (Marko, Red Bull motorsport advisor), they can answer more details if they want to. Talking about myself, I’m very happy with the deal I have and I’m very happy to look in the future like that.”