Pierre Gasly will start his first Formula 1 Grand Prix from fifteenth on the grid, and the Frenchman was satisfied with his performance throughout the qualifying session at the Sepang International Circuit.
Gasly, who has replaced Daniil Kvyat within the Scuderia Toro Rosso team for this weekend and for the next race in Japan, was only 0.156 seconds behind established team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. in Qualifying 2, having outpaced him by just over a tenth of a second in Qualifying 1.
“I think today was positive and I’m happy – your first qualifying in Formula 1 is always a special moment and one I was really looking forward to!” said Gasly.
“I tried to give my best and I think we made really good progress between FP3 and Qualifying. I felt comfortable in the car in Q1 and then, in Q2, I kept on learning while giving my all and I’d say we can be satisfied with the result!”
Gasly now turns his attention to his first Grand Prix start, and admits he would not mind if it rains or not in Malaysia, having had his first practice session on Friday run completely in wet conditions.
“I now look forward to tomorrow, my first Formula 1 race and something I’ve been dreaming of since I was very young…” said Gasly.
“I expect it to be a really good experience and I hope to keep improving tomorrow as well. You never know what can happen with the weather here so, if the rain and tricky conditions do appear, I will welcome it as I felt confident in the wet in FP1 on Friday and I’m sure it will make it all even more exciting!”