Gasly 'can't wait' to get to work in Malaysia

Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso
© Scuderia Toro Rosso

Pierre Gasly is understandably thrilled to be handed his first proper opportunity to show what he can really do in a Formula 1 car.

The current GP2 champion will drive for Toro Rosso in this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, replacing regular driver Daniil Kvyat.

"Very happy to join Toro Rosso for the Malaysian GP!" he said on Twitter after the official announcement. "Can't wait to start my first F1 GP this weekend."

Although he's currently the test and reserve driver for Red Bull Racing, Gasly hasn't had the opportunity to take part in any free practice sessions before now.

"It will be different to anything I've done before," he acknowledged. "I feel as ready as I can be, having had to be prepared for anything in my role as Red Bull Racing's third driver this year.

"The other drivers have been racing all season, so I will have a lot of things to get used to and learn about," he said. "It's a super challenge, and I can't wait for it to start."

The 21-year-old Frenchman thanked everyone who had helped him get to this point of his motor racing career. "Specifically Red Bull, Dr Helmut Marko and Scuderia Toro Rosso.

"I am not worried," he insisted. "I have worked hard to prepare for this and to get to Formula 1."

At least the choice of venue for his maiden F1 outing brings Gasly a degree of familiarity.

"I have raced in Sepang [before]," he said. "It was last year, when I took pole position for the GP2 race. Clearly it's a track I like. It is very tough with the high level of humidity, but I am well prepared physically.”

Other than Malaysia, it's not clear exactly which further races Gasly will participate in. His current involvement in Japanese Super Formula means that an outing at Suzuka is highly likely.

Gasly is currently in second place in that championship, just half a point behind Hiroaki Ishiura. The final round on October 22 clashes with the United States Grand Prix, indicating that Kvyat is likely to be back in the seat at least for Austin.

What happens in the final three races of the season at Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi remains to be seen, and depends in part on how Gasly fares in the meantime.

"I will do my best to perform well with Scuderia Toro Rosso during these coming races," he pledged.

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