Kvyat: I matched Ricciardo during spell as Red Bull F1 team-mates

Daniil Kvyat believes he matched Daniel Ricciardo during their 23 races as Red Bull Formula 1 team-mates, despite his early-2016 demotion

Kvyat: I matched Ricciardo during spell as Red Bull F1 team-mates

Kvyat was sent back to Toro Rosso after the Russian Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen going in the other direction and going on to impress alongside Ricciardo.

Kvyat finished seventh in last year's championship, three points clear of Ricciardo, but trailed the Australian by 15 points after four races before Red Bull made the move.

"I obviously worked with Daniel, he's a top driver and I feel like I was there with him," he told Autosport.

"I was a bit less consistent, maybe a bit less understanding of the car and less experience."

It took a long time for Kvyat to come to terms with the decision and that impacted on how long it took him to settle back into Toro Rosso.

He was outperformed by team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr over the course of their 17 races together, with the Spaniard ended up with a tally almost double that of Kvyat.

"What Carlos feels right now is that he's made the car work for him," said Kvyat.

"After the first three races, the car suited him very well and when I came I was completely out of the window with the car.

"He was on a very high level and a consistently high level so knew he would be very hard to beat.

"When I'm in my window it becomes very close.

"I am very excited about next year because it will be interesting to go against Carlos."

Red Bull has tied Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen into deals which keep them at the team until the end of 2018.

When asked if he was concerned that those deals would hamper his progress in F1, Kvyat said: "We try to do our job as good as possible in 2017.

"Red Bull have good drivers and of course at some point any of those drivers wants to be world champion.

"They will have to make a choice which is up to them."

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