The Russian was demoted from the main Red Bull team to its junior squad ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix and subsequently suffered a slump that seemed “never-ending” to him. This culminated in a 19th-place qualifying result at Hockenheim that nearly left Kvyat’s career in tatters.
Although Toro Rosso has taken a step back since the summer break due to its underpowered year-old Ferrari engines, Kvyat’s performance has improved in the mean time, as highlighted by his ninth-place finish in Singapore.
“I am definitely a lot more comfortable than a couple of months ago,” Kvyat said of his prospects for 2017. “Now, compared to the situation a few months ago I had doubts but everything is clear to me. I want to do this [race in F1] as long as I can.”
During his barren run, Kvyat admitted his demotion had taken the fun out of the sport for him. But the 22-year-old now insists he is enjoying his time in the sport again.
“I have to create my own comfort. It feels quite good. It is now every weekend is, let’s say, an enjoyable thing whereas before coming to the race we know it won’t be an easy one for us but I enjoy my work regardless of the position we are fighting for. I will try until the end.
“You have to accept your situation, find the things you enjoy in your work and I found them and I enjoy my work now. Every day is a joy.”
With team-mate Carlos Sainz already confirmed at Toro Rosso for 2017, Kvyat is reportedly vying for the second seat with GP2 Series title contender Pierre Gasly.
Asked for an update on his future in Japan last weekend, Kvyat replied: “When the time comes, it will come. Soon. Very soon. Before it happens I don’t want to talk about it.
“We will see how things go […] my career is in Red Bull’s hands and we sort things out at this stage between me and Red Bull.
“For the driver who won a few races it is much easier… I had two podiums, which makes it easier, but it is not a win. Having myself and Red Bull is comfortable.
“There is no need for regular discussions, we will just sit down once and then we will decide. We know each other well enough to sit down once and express our opinions and listen to our decisions.”