Luiz Razia - Photo Credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Series Media Service

Razia was pleased with his qualifying result, but expects the race to be very tough - Photo Credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Series Media Service

Front-row qualifier Luiz Razia says he is 'expecting things to be difficult' in the first race of the GP2 Series season in Malaysia.

The Arden International driver missed out on pole by just 0.06 seconds, and although he's pleased with that result he says that the conditions presented by the Sepang circuit and new regulations regarding tyres mean that the hard work will come in the race.

“This has been a very good day for the team – and the same is true for me,” he said. “To qualify at the front has been a great confidence booster, although the oppressive climate here makes racing tough, no matter where you line up. There's always a chance of rain, too, so I'm expecting things to be difficult.

“It is important to remain focused, to minimise any risk of error, and we have to keep an eye on the strategic permutations. The situation has changed this season, with the adoption of different tyre compounds, and we need to look at the data to see whether it's best to choose hard-hard or medium-hard for the race.

“One of the key objectives today was to save tyres for the race – and we managed to do that while lapping quickly. It has been a very positive start, but the hardest bit lies ahead.”

Rookie teammate Simon Trummer had a disappointing session, ending up down in 24th position. He hopes to make some places in the race though.

“I know there is potential in the car – Luiz proved that much – so I have to be a little disappointed with my own result,” he said.

“I was happy enough with the way things were going and felt fairly sure I could qualify in the top half of the field, but I didn't manage a clear lap on my final run and slipped back to 24th. It is all part of the learning process, though, and I'm confident that I'll be able to move forward in the race.”