Davide Valsecchi - Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service

Valsecchi celebrates his pole position - Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service

GP2 title contender Davide Valsecchi declared himself very happy after taking pole position in the first qualifying session of the year in Malaysia.

The Italian, entering his fifth year in the F1 feeder series, shaded his rivals in a close qualifying session in Sepang.

The DAMS driver thanked his team and stated that the result was a great start to the season.

“First of all, I'd like to thank my engineers and mechanics who have given me such a well-prepared car,” he said. “I'm very happy for them – and also for myself – but the job isn't done yet as we'll have to confirm our performance in the race. In any case, we've got off to a great start.”

Rookie teammate Felipe Nasr claimed a good result from his first qualifying session, securing the tenth fastest time. A penalty for Fabio Onidi means he will start from ninth on the grid for his debut, though the reigning British F3 champion felt he could have achieved a better grid slot.

“My tenth place isn't too bad but I'd have liked to do a bit better,” said the Brazilian star. “This being said it's my first race in GP2 and I'd like to thank my team for all the help they've given me. I'll do my best to give them a good result this weekend.”

Team CEO Jean-Paul Driot was delighted as his team continued where they left off after taking the drivers' title with Romain Grosjean last year.

“Obviously we all feel very satisfied not only because of the pole position, but also because of the overall result of our two drivers,” said Driot. “I'd like to congratulate them and the whole team who have laid down a marker right at the start of the season.”