Ma Qing Hua will become the first Chinese to drive in the Formula One Championship Friday when he replaces Narain Karthikeyan in the HRT for the first free practice session at the Italian Grand Prix here.
Since joining HRT, Ma Qing Hua has been preparing himself for the F1 challenge by testing lower category cars, working on the simulator and going through a rigorous physical training regime.
After the Young Driver Test celebrated at Silverstone, where the Shanghai-born driver completed 483.062 km, and being granted a F1 Super Licence by the FIA, the team considers that he is ready to take the next step and has decided to line him up alongside Pedro de la Rosa for FP1 at Monza, said the Spanish-based team in a statement.
Ma Qing Hua said he couldn’t be more excited about being the first from his country to drive during a F1 weekend.
“It is a very important step towards my dream of becoming a F1 driver. It will be my second time in the car after Silverstone and I am very excited about driving at a circuit like Monza,” he said.
“The objective of this session is to continue advancing with my programme, rack up more miles and experience at the wheel of a F1 car and help the team with whatever they need.
“It will be the first time that a Chinese driver takes part in a Grand Prix and that, for Chinese motorsport, is another huge stride and a fantastic opportunity. I want to thank all the people who have supported and helped me to get here,” he added.