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Ferrari junior Raffaele Marciello to get F1 practice run for Sauber

Ferrari protege Raffaele Marciello will make his Formula 1 grand prix weekend debut in Malaysia, when he contests Friday's first practice session with Sauber

A member of Ferrari's young driver roster since 2010 and Sauber's 2015 reserve and test driver, Marciello won the Formula 3 European Championship in 2013 and finished eighth in GP2 last year.

The 20-year-old Italian experienced F1 machinery for the first time last November, during Abu Dhabi's post-season test with Ferrari, and he will drive Felipe Nasr's C34 in the opening session at Sepang.

"It will be exciting to drive the C34 for the first time," Marciello said.

"That will also be the same for the Italians, as we have not had an Italian driver in Formula 1 for quite a few years.

"I am confident I can do a good job as well as supporting the team in order to find a set-up for the car which suits the track.

"I have never been to Malaysia before, but I know the track quite well from the Ferrari simulator in Maranello, and I am sure I can get to learn it fast once I drive there."

The Swiss outfit put its point-less 2014 season and week of off-track turmoil in Melbourne behind it when debutant Nasr finished fifth in the Australian Grand Prix, while Marcus Ericsson was also in the points in eighth.

Nasr said: "Looking back to our winter tests, I am confident that the layout of the track in Malaysia can suit our car.

"After a successful season opener in Melbourne, I think the Malaysian Grand Prix can be one of the races we can look forward to.

"The track consists of some long straights and fast corners, so I would expect a bigger tyre degradation.

"On the other hand, it is positive that our car seems to have a decent straight line speed, but I think some more downforce could help us to gain time in the high-speed corners."

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