Where does Daniil Kvyat go from here? Exclusive Q and A

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In Monza, ESPN sat down with Daniil Kvyat to discuss the harsh lessons from his demotion from Red Bull to Toro Rosso in May, how he's dealt with his poor form since and why he's not worrying about where he will be in 2017.

You were pretty downbeat before the summer break. In Belgium it seemed like the four weeks had been pretty helpful for you -- have two disappointing weekends reset your mindset?

"First of all, we've done our best in Spa. We have to be realistic about things. We didn't go quite where we wanted to be but it was nothing like Germany, with what happened there. It's fine. As an engineering group, technical group, we came out of the race saying we'd done our best.

"Now it's up to the engineers to understand where we can improve things because there's something quite deep inside which prevents us putting on the performance we used to. The straight-line limitation is very big and very frustrating ... but we can't do anything about that so we shouldn't even think about that."

Do you still feel like you're in a better place?

"I'm OK. I'm fine -- I live with the day and nothing else, so I'm fine."

In the situation you were in before the summer break, it seemed like it was one bad thing after another. Is it easy to become obsessed with the finer details when you're struggling for form?

"That might have been the case, in the past, but I'm completely fine now. I know where we are and I'm realistic about things. I don't have any issues with the things you're talking about."

It must be frustrating, then, that you've reached that point as Toro Rosso's engine deficiency is becoming more obvious as the season wares on?

"Yeah, but unfortunately that's just the way things are laying at the moment. We just have to accept them and go forward. We can influence in a positive way certain things, and nothing else. It would not help me to think 'I cannot show [what I can do]'. The right people notice things and I will have to be quite patient, but I learned this patience over the summer break."

We've seen the support given to you by Helmut Marko since your demotion. How do you feel your standing is within the team?

"That's a question for them, not for me. I am doing my job, and like I admitted before the summer break, there have been some big up and downs for me. There were some big potential races that were hard to put together because I didn't know the limits of the car, the limits of the team.

"Now I'm feeling more in line with things but I don't know what they think at the moment."

There's a lot of focus on who will be driving where in 2017...

"2017 is 2017. It starts in three and a half months' time, so until then we just wait and see. It seems like there's no big rush.

"We will soon be at the stage where we approach the point where we are looking for answers about it. But at the moment I live the day of today, and nothing else, so I'll just see where it goes."

You're not thinking of life away from F1, then?

"No, I live with what happens today. I keep the right doors open and then we will see how this situation develops. A lot will depend on that, otherwise I don't know too much."

When will we know what you're doing next year?

"As soon as possible, I hope. But I'm not going to give any deadlines to the media. If I have them I will give them to the right people when the right time comes."

There has been a lot of talk about Pierre Gasly and the fact he's leading GP2, even rumours of him replacing you as early as Singapore. Is that a distraction for you?

"Yeah, but it doesn't change anything for me. It doesn't have any influence on my work, or my approach, so no. I know where I stand in the team."

Is it hard to stay motivated at a team lower down the grid when you've dropped from a team fighting for wins and podiums?

"Of course there were some issues with that at some point. It wasn't easy, I found it difficult to understand and accept things, but I've already started forgetting these things now. It's not the biggest issue any more. I know my value. I've probably not been the most consistent guy out there but I've had drives on my days and last year my final position in the championship, even with by far not the best car, speaks for itself.

"To be honest I never had the best package on the grid... Every time we had issues with engine, with every team I've been in. So it's OK, I don't have any issues with that. I'm racing for myself first of all, so I know how things stand and what I can do."

You mention last year. Was there anything that could have prepared you for what was coming ahead of Spain?

"No, no. It was all meant to be, I guess, since I signed for Red Bull. There was quite a high chance of this kind of scenario. For one year and a half I was living without knowing what was going to happen in the next day, so it's fair enough. It's a good lesson for the future though."

I suppose it's something you always know might happen, being in the Red Bull driver programme?

"You know, yes, but you don't want it to go that way! When you go up as high in your career you don't expect things to change so quickly and so dramatically. It wasn't the best thing but I've already turned that page, this is already forgotten. It's not forgotten forgotten, but I'm working with a different mindset and different thoughts in my mind, not thinking about what happened in May."

We've seen Toro Rosso slip down the pecking order since Australia. Realistically, can this team get back into the points before the end of 2016?

"We hope so, we would like it to be like that. Of course there are slower circuits coming up with less engine dependency which we hope are going to be more favourable for us. But of course some tracks with higher engine demands are not going to be easy. We have to understand how we can make the best out of races which should suit us."

There's a lot of excitement about next year's rule changes. Red Bull or Toro Rosso seems like a good place to be if aerodynamics are going to have more of an impact....

"I still think engine will be important next year, the engines are staying the same. The more downforce means you will need more horsepower to push down the straights, so engines are still very important. The new rules give hope to some teams. It's always going to be interesting but I have no idea how its going to influence Red Bull or Toro Rosso."