Rookie Gasly heard of Grand Prix de­but by text mes­sage

Global Times - - Sports -

For­mula One rookie Pierre Gasly re­vealed he only found out he would make his Toro Rosso de­but at this week­end’s Malaysian Grand Prix on Mon­day – and via text mes­sage.

Gasly, the 2016 GP2 cham­pion from France, has re­placed Daniil Kvyat in the Red Bull junior team for at least the next two Grands Prix.

“I trav­eled from Tokyo on Mon­day to Malaysia, and when I got here I re­ceived a text say­ing that I might be driv­ing this week­end,” the 21-year-old Gasly told re­porters on Thurs­day.

“I got re­ally ex­cited about it. I tried to sleep on Mon­day night, which was a bit dif­fi­cult, with all the ex­cite­ment.

“On Tues­day morn­ing I had the con­fir­ma­tion that I was go­ing to drive. It was an amaz­ing mo­ment and great news. I’m liv­ing the dream.”

Gasly now has a chance to earn a full-time seat for 2018, when team­mate Car­los Sainz moves to Re­nault, but he said he wasn’t think­ing that far ahead.

“I’m just fully fo­cus­ing on the week­end, try­ing to do my best and learn as quickly as pos­si­ble,” said Gasly.

“It’s a great op­por­tu­nity for me to be along­side Car­los, who is on top of his game at the mo­ment. It’s a re­ally good bench­mark for me. We’ll see what’s go­ing to hap­pen in the next few weeks a bit later.”

Gasly said he felt sorry for Kvyat, who last sea­son was dis­placed at Red Bull by the teenaged Max Ver­stap­pen and now has seen his Toro Rosso seat taken by an­other young­ster.

“Un­for­tu­nately that is how it works in this sport,” said Gasly.

“Of course I feel sorry for him; he is a re­ally good driver and tal­ented. Un­for­tu­nately it is hap­pen­ing that I am go­ing to take his seat.”

Sainz said he was con­fi­dent the young French­man would be up to speed quickly.

“I’m sure Red Bull would not put any­one in the car who is not ca­pa­ble of be­ing on the pace straight away,” said Sainz.

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