Chinese driver Ma Qing Hua set to make Formula One history


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Ma Qing Hua will make history on Friday by becoming the first Chinese driver to take part in a Formula One weekend.

Hua will replace Narain Karthikeyan at HRT for the first practice session of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

The 24-year-old has undergone intensive preparation this year in readiness for his debut, which included the Young Driver Test at Silverstone in July where he completed enough kilometres to obtain the necessary FIA super licence.

Hua said: "This is a very important step towards my dream of becoming a Formula One driver.

"The objective of the session is to continue advancing with my programme, rack up more miles and experience at the wheel of an F1 car and help the team with whatever they need.

"I'm excited, but also calm about it because I've been training hard in the past months to be prepared when the opportunity presented itself.

"But it will be the first time a Chinese driver takes part in a grand prix and that, for Chinese motorsport, is another huge stride and a fantastic opportunity."

Team principal Luis Perez-Sala has no doubts Hua can move on to the next level in his development as he said: "He's fulfilled our expectations without making any mistakes.

"He has proven himself as a quick and safe driver with a great capability to adapt, besides also possessing a very positive and professional attitude.

"Without a doubt, this is a very important step which comes with great responsibility, but we consider he's prepared to take it on".