New Scuderia Toro Rosso recruit Pierre Gasly says he does not have butterflies ahead of making his Formula 1 debut at this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix, having worked hard throughout his career a chance like this to arise.
The Frenchman will replace Daniil Kvyat in Malaysia, to allow Red Bull Racing the chance to evaluate his potential ahead of a possible full-time seat with the Faenza based squad in 2018, and will compete with race number 10.
Although the 21-year-old anticipates there will be a tough challenge ahead of him this weekend, he cannot wait for the action to get underway.
“I am not worried; I am excited about making my debut in Sepang this weekend. I have worked hard to prepare for this and to get to F1. I am very happy to have this opportunity.
“I know it will be different to anything I’ve done before and the other drivers have been racing all season, so I will have a lot of things to get used to and learn about. It’s a super challenge and I can’t wait for it to start”
Gasly does have some prior experience of driving at the Sepang International Circuit having raced there in GP2 last season, where he took pole position, as well as securing a podium finish in the sprint race, so it also appears to be a track he goes well at.
It is as good a place as any therefore, for the 21-year-old to be making his debut, despite the tough physical challenge it poses. The Frenchman is fully aware of that element of racing in Sepang, and is ready to go nonetheless.
“I have raced in Sepang. It was last year, when I took pole position for the GP2 race, so clearly it’s a track I like. It is very tough with the high level of humidity but I am well prepared physically.”