An on-track battle with Max Verstappen could inspire Daniil Kvyat back into top form in the 2017 Formula One season, according to Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost.
Kvyat replaced four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull in 2015, but was demoted back to the sister team after four rounds of 2016 following a costly shunt at his home Russian Grand Prix with the German star.
Verstappen replaced Kvyat in the senior team and made instant headlines when he became F1's youngest race winner in his first Red Bull outing, while the man he replaced picked up just two championship points from the next 10 races.
A battling ninth-place finish in Singapore came after getting the better of Verstappen in a brief head-to-head and Kvyat said afterwards: "To feel this passion again - I'm back to normal."
And Tost told Motorsport: "I was 100 per cent convinced that [Kvyat] could come back [to his best] because he showed in the past that he could do it.
"In sports in general, you have ups and downs. But if a driver - or a sportsman in general - shows that he can win races and championships, then you know he has in mind all the ingredients he needs to be successful.
"Therefore I'm convinced that Daniil is coming back, that he will become successful and I expect a very strong season from him in 2017.
"I think that it was generally positive to show that he still has the speed and the car control to fight against Max and also to leave him behind.
"I think for his self-confidence it was very important.
"I think the big turnaround was done in Singapore, where he really showed a good race and qualifying as well. And also afterwards he showed good performance. Therefore for me it was clear that he should continue with us."