Scuderia Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost has tipped former driver Daniil Kvyat to bounce back after struggling to make much of an impact in his first five races for Red Bull Racing.
Kvyat raced for Toro Rosso in 2014 as a rookie, but made enough of an impression to secure himself a seat at Red Bull as four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel’s replacement.
Red Bull has struggled at the beginning of the new season with its car, the RB11, and its Renault power unit which has taken the brunt of the team’s criticism.
Questions have been raised about Kvyat, though, given that he has scored just five points in the opening five races, finishing no higher than ninth on track.
Speaking to the official Formula 1 website, Tost was quick to back his former driver, believing that Kvyat will soon respond and prove his ability.
“It takes time to mature in an F1 car,” Tost said. “That is why I say that I want to work with drivers for three years – and then hand them over.
“Daniil had only one year with Toro Rosso. He is facing car troubles and is simply not as experienced as Daniel Ricciardo, who was with us for three years and had half a year with HRT.
“Daniil is a very highly skilled driver and I am convinced that if his car is reliable he will be very fast. He will have a successful future.
“He is very, very skilled – he has the champion gene.”
Kvyat heads to next weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix with every hope of turning his season around, and spoke earlier this week about the importance of confidence when racing around the famous streets.
“It’s a real ‘confidence’ circuit,” he said. “You need to be in tune with it. You need to find yourself, find the flow, you need to find the right approach mentally and with the car and then you just have to make it happen.”