29 September


Pierre Gasly (STR12-04, Car 10)
First Practice Session
Best lap: 1:52.380, pos. 9th, 14 laps
Second Practice Session
Best lap: 1:34.043, pos. 15th, 22 laps

“Today felt fantastic! My first day as a Formula 1 driver, first Free Practices… It’s been a very special day! This morning when I drove out of the garage for the first time was a very emotional moment. I was super happy but at the same time I was focusing on the work with the team, trying to be as competitive and professional as possible from the very start. I think it’s been a positive first day. In this morning’s session we had tricky conditions but I managed to do quite well in the wet. In this afternoon’s FP2, I kept learning and getting used to the car and all the procedures - I have to say that I feel more and more comfortable, lap after lap. Of course, I still need time to get even more confident, but we are progressing well and going step by step. We will now work hard tonight and focus on tomorrow… I can’t wait to get back in the car again!”

Carlos Sainz (STR12-01, Car 55)
Second Practice Session
Best lap: 1:34.104, pos. 16th, 19 laps
“The weekend hasn’t really started like we would’ve liked it to… Obviously, sitting out in FP1 and missing out on some wet running this morning is not ideal, as the race on Sunday could very probably be a wet one. In this afternoon’s FP2, we had problems with the drivetrain, which affected the drivability and the top speed, so we couldn’t make the most out of the second session either. We therefore have a lot of work to do tomorrow to recover the track time lost today, but I’m confident we can catch up.”

Sean Gelael (STR12-01, Car 38)
First Practice Session
Best lap: 1:54.610, pos. 14th, 13 laps
“It’s a shame that this morning’s FP1 was a wet session – if I say the truth, I wanted it to be a dry one so that I could really push the car, as it’s a track I already knew after having driven here last year in F2. But it is what it is and, on a positive note, it’s useful to also get some running in these conditions so that I’m prepared for the future, if it happens again. In the end we were quite good, our pace was okay and overall I’m happy with today.”

Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer)
“We’re very excited to have Pierre join the team – he’s done a great job for us today in what were tricky conditions during FP1, especially given this was his first time driving our car and it was in the wet. In the afternoon we had to condense his programme and pretty much do a whole day’s running in just that one session. There was the red flag, so that shortened it even more, but we managed to gather a lot of aero data, as we have some new components on the car here in Malaysia. He also practiced a lot procedurally, as it’s his first time racing one of these cars, which are very complicated and there’s a lot to go through and understand. The initial view is extremely positive – he handled everything very well, nothing seemed to faze him and his technical feedback has been fantastic, so he’s a really good addition to the team. We are looking forward to see how he handles qualifying tomorrow and perform in the race on Sunday. On the other car, we had Sean driving in FP1, who did a good job in the tricky conditions carrying out a single longer run on the Inter tyre, building up his confidence in the wet. Sean handed the car back to Carlos for FP2 but things weren’t quite as smooth for him, experiencing inconsistencies with the vehicle, making the session tricky. So there is a lot of data to analyse this evening and decisions to be made to give both drivers consistent cars for tomorrow. In summary the lap times don’t give the full picture and we are confident to build on today and make good progress tomorrow.”
posted at 20:07:00 on 09/29/17 by webmaster - Category: races