Raffaele Marciello is set to make his Formula 1 debut with Sauber after being handed a drive for Free Practice 1 in Malaysia, before permanent driver Felipe Nasr takes over.

Sauber's test and reserve driver Marciello, who is also set to contest his second GP2 series after joining Trident, will make his debut in a Formula 1 car at Sepang and feels honoured to fly the Italian flag as a driver.

"It will be exciting to drive the Sauber C34 for the first time. That will also be the same for the Italians, as we have not had an Italian driver in Formula One for quite a few years," Marciello said. "I will definitely enjoy the experience, and I am really looking forward to it. 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."

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The 2013 European Formula 3 champion will also make his debut around the Sepang International Circuit but is confident he can support the Ferrari-powered team in his first outing in Formula 1.

"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," he added. "As the circuit has some fast corners, I think the car's downforce will be crucial.

"Another important aspect will be the weather, as the humidity, along with the temperatures, is quite high. From a driver's perspective it will be a challenge, but this is the same for everyone."

Sauber is looking to put its driver troubles firmly behind it after being taken to court by former driver Giedo van der Garde just days before the Formula 1 season opener in Melbourne.

The Dutch driver accused the Swiss team of unfair dismissal after he was promised an F1 race seat for the 2015 season and the courts ruled in his favour. As a result, the team and driver came to an agreement last week which saw van der Garde receive a substantial settlement.