Scuderia Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost has said that his former driver Daniil Kvyat will be ready to fight for grand prix victories and the Formula 1 title by 2017.
Kvyat spent his first year in Formula 1 with Tost's STR outfit back in 2014, finishing 15th overall and securing a promotion to the main Red Bull team.
"If I would be team principal of an absolutely top team, I would take him for 2017 immediately," stated Tost.
"Because in 2017 he will be ready to win races and he will also be ready to fight for the championship, I am convinced of that.
"He has all the ingredients you need to win a race or a championship," Tost continued. "Like he did in GP3, because he won the races and he won the championship at the end of the season, which is much more difficult than if everything is clear from the middle of the season onwards.
"He got everything together and he was, from the mental side, strong enough to do it.
"And therefore, I am convinced he can do the same in Formula 1."
Second year toughest
After his successful rookie season with Toro Rosso, Kvyat went through a relatively tough first few races with Red Bull, which Tost says was to be expected.
"I've always said to the drivers that they need a minimum of three years to understand Formula 1, because Formula 1 is very, very complicated.
"The first year, they just learn what's going on - and Kvyat had a very good first year with Toro Rosso.
"The second year most often is the more difficult year, also because of the expectations. I always tell to the drivers 'you need three years' but, of course, they don't believe me. They think they know everything, but that's not true.
"Daniil had to face this, like every other driver. You want to be fast but you don't understand the tyres 100 percent or the setup for the car. Only in the third year you learn what's really going on in Formula 1.
Tost also theorised that Kvyat went through what he calls a "crash period" last year.
"[It happens] within three years and is something a driver has to have," Tost explained. "Because otherwise he doesn't know where the limit is.
"Daniil had a part of this crash period last year, which is very normal for such a young driver - because don't forget, he is coming from GP3 to Formula 1 and he is 21 years old.
"Dany's problem was that he came from Toro Rosso to an absolutely top team. Normally he should have stayed a minimum of two or three years with us at Toro Rosso because the crashes wouldn't be the focus.
"But in a top team, it's 'why is he crashing, why is he not performing?' For me it was normal.
"He got it under control, in a very short period of time, and therefore I am even more convinced he is a highly-skilled driver."
Additional reporting by Oleg Karpov