Scuderia Toro Rosso‘s Pierre Gasly says his first race in Formula 1 at the Malaysian Grand Prix was a “positive race” after coming home in fourteenth place.
The French driver filled in for Daniil Kvyat for Malaysia and also takes the driving seat for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix. He endured a physical and tough race where he ran majority of the race from the back of the field.
During the race, Gasly suffered an unexpected failure where his drinks bottle wasn’t working and spilled in his face, meaning the Frenchman ran the race without having any fluid intake in the Malaysian heat.
Despite the issue, Gasly says his first race in Formula 1 will be a one to remember for the twenty-one year old.
“This was a special race for me, as it was my first ever Formula 1 race – a day I will never forget!” said Gasly.
“It was definitely a good experience, I’d say even better than what I expected. I tried to do my best and pushed as hard as possible!”
“It was a really physical and tough race – my drink system didn’t work properly, the water was going all over my face and not in my mouth! – and it felt like a long race… But with such a big adrenaline boost that I got, I just kept focusing until the end.”
During the race, Gasly fought with Haas F1 Team‘s Kevin Magnussen in the race, with the Danish driver beating the Toro Rosso driver after finishing in twelfth. Gasly says that it was difficult to close the gap to Magnussen in the race as well as dealing with tyre management but insists his skills will get better with more practice.
“I was quite close to Magnussen during the whole race, but it was quite difficult to close the gap. I think I also need a bit more experience regarding tyre management, I struggled at the end of the race, and I also think I didn’t manage the blue flag situations perfectly. I lost a bit of time, but this will come with a bit more practice.”
“I will now have a look back at the race and see all the things I can improve for the next race in Japan next week. All in all, I leave Malaysia satisfied, it was a positive race!”