Paddock Postcard from Shanghai 15 Apr 2012
The weekend started with a definite local flavour courtesy of HRT, who presented their new Chinese test driver to the media. Shanghai-born Ma Qing Hua tested his mettle in Formula Campus, Formula Renault and Formula Three before being signed up by the Spanish team.
He appeared at a press conference in his home city alongside team principal Luis Perez-Sala and Xiang Tong Chun, Secretary of the Federation of Automobile Sports of China.
"I know that I will learn a lot from everyone, especially my teammates, who will surely pass on to me their experience and knowledge, said Qing Hua. From now on my main objective is to study and learn a lot quickly, I must extract as much information as possible and take in both the most basic concepts and the most technical and specialized ones of Formula One.
Perez-Sala added: Ive spent years forming young talents and that is why I know Ma from a few years back and I know what his potential is. Before incorporating him we tested him on our simulator in Barcelona and with a World Series car in Valencia. The data which we obtained proved what we already believed, that he is a very good driver. Hes very secure, sensible in the car and has a strong and balanced mentality. Because of all this we believe that we can help him in his development as a Formula One driver, we want him to test as much as possible and, if possible, for him to take part in the young driver tests this year.
Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel had a novel start to his Chinese Grand Prix weekend on Wednesday, when he starred in a martial arts short film alongside Hollywood actress, model and martial arts expert Celina Jade.
Filming at a studio just outside Shanghai, he learned a series of Kung Fu moves from the star, who can be seen in the upcoming Universal Pictures film Man with the Iron Fists, before taking to the nearby Tianma circuit where they swapped roles and he taught her performance driving skills aboard an Infiniti G Coupe.
The short film Kung Fu Vettel: Drive of the Dragon - guaranteed to show the double world champion as hes never been seen before - is set for release in early May. It is the first of Infinitis new Inspired Performers series which will see Vettel and Red Bull Racing team mate Mark Webber swapping skills with other like-minded inspired performers who are leaders in their respective fields.
Commenting on his latest adventure, Vettel said: Well that was the first time I've acted in a martial arts movie and it was great fun. It was something totally new for me which was good as I always like new challenges and experiences. I learned that just like with driving, you need balance, control and technique to be good at Kung Fu, but I think I'll still stick to my usual kind of fighting on track on Sunday!"
Celina Jade was the teams guest for the weekend.
Later in the weekend, after Saturdays qualifying session, Formula One group CEO Bernie Ecclestone convinced all six of the current grids world championship-winning drivers to join Chinese broadcaster CCTV for an unprecedented interview.
Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel, McLaren team mates Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, Lotuss Kimi Raikkonen, Ferraris Fernando Alonso and Mercedes Michael Schumacher were all in attendance at the exceptional get-together.
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