The Russian was demoted back to to the Red Bull junior team ahead of the Spanish GP in a shock swap that saw Max Verstappen replace him at Milton Keynes.
Having admitted that he needed more track time to adapt to the Ferrari-powered STR11, Kvyat described his recent 116-lap day of testing at Circuit de Barcelona as “crucial”.
“I’m pretty happy about how it went, a lot of information, a lot of things I tried which hopefully we will be able to put on the car for Monaco next week and will work,” he said. “So it was a very productive day for myself and the team.”
Asked whether he felt more at ease behind the wheel heading to one of the most unforgiving street circuit in the world, the 22-year-old added: “Yeah. Obviously here and Monaco are very different tracks. But let’s see, it will be a perfect opportunity because Monaco is a confidence track so will be important to see how much confidence I have in the car. Usually I’ve been good there so should be OK this time too.”
Twelve months ago, Kvyat had also arrived in Monte Carlo on the back of a challenging first few races, but the former GP3 Series champion managed to turn a corner by qualifying a strong fifth before beating then team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to fourth in the race.
When Vettel won the 2008 Italian Grand Prix at Monza for Toro Rosso at the age of 21 years and 73 days, he scrapped Fernando Alonso from the history books.
Now himself relegated to second on the youngest winners list behind the stunning Max Verstappen, Vettel is happy to concede the record to a man whose achievement he appreciates, although the German remains relatively indifferent to the age factor in F1.
“Records are there to be broken,” said the Ferrari driver.
“I was so excited when I won my first race that I didn’t care if I was twenty or 25 or whatever age, I don’t think it matters [about age].
“If you’re quick enough you belong here and then as soon as you are you belong here and as long as you are you belong here, so I don’t think it matters whether you’re 18 or… I think Michael kept racing until he was 43?
“I met Stirling Moss a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately he only raced until his thirties but I think he was there to race until his fifties. Obviously cars these days are a bit easier to drive than when I started but still I think there’s nothing that speaks against…
“I don’t know how old Kimi Raikkonen is actually but 35 year old to keep fit and to drive these cars if you’re still quick enough, you’re still young enough, so that’s the bottom line.”
Head, who in the past witnessed on multiple occasions contentious or difficult relationships between star drivers at Williams, believes that the pairing, despite its intense rivalry, can remain in the same team.
“On the track they’ve had a clash but I don’t see it as a reason why they can’t drive in the same team going forward,” Patrick Head told Sky Sports.
“It would seem an overreaction for that to happen, but I think that going forward it really depends what happens. If Lewis goes out and wins the next four races in a row and closes the gap, then Lewis will be happy and everything will be fine.
“Nico will have to be focusing on going out afterwards and winning. But that’s one of the good things about Formula 1, every race has equal points, equal importance unlike sportscar racing where Le Mans dominates above all the others in terms of prestige to win.
“They’ve got 16 or 17 races ahead of them, so they’ll be looking forward at that rather than looking back.
“Yes, it will be an annoyance and they’ve got to work out how they deal with it and avoid it in the future. I don’t it as a reason why they can’t be in the same team together.”
Looking back at the big, and often acrimonious, battles of the 80s and 90s at Williams between Alan Jones and Carlos Reutemann, or Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet, the chances of two star drivers and team mates falling out are always high given the stakes and respective egos.
“The only time I’ve come across good friends within the team is when one is clearly head and shoulders above the other, and the other accepts that the other one is better. But I don’t think any team wants that,” Head concluded.