Antonio Giovinazzi was delighted with his showing in qualifying after being a late substitute for Sauber following Pascal Wehrlein's withdrawal.
The Italian was thrown in at the deep end ahead of FP3 as Wehrlein, who has been playing catch-up after his injury at the Race of Champions event in January, made a shock withdrawal from the race as he did not feel he would be fit enough to complete the full distance.
Giovinazzi was able to qualify in 16th place after very limited track time and just missed out on reaching Q2 by a couple of tenths.
“That is a special day for me kicking off my first Formula One grand prix weekend,” Giovinazzi said.
“I am really happy with my performance today, I was just a few tenths away from Q2.”
“It will be a long race tomorrow,” he admitted. “A lot can happen here in Melbourne. I will do my best to put in my maximum performance.”