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Ma Qing Hua to test for HRT at Silverstone 23 May 2012

Ma Qing Hua Qinghua Ma (CHI) A1 Team China. A1 Grand Prix, Rd11, Practice, Shanghai, China, USA, 31 March 2006. Ma Qing Hua with Luis Pérez-Sala, HRT Team Principal, and Xiang Tong Chun, Secretary of the Federation of Automobile Sports of China Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) HRT Formula One Team HRT F112.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix Qualifying, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 14 April 2012

HRT have announced that Ma Qing Hua will be in action for them at July’s young driver test at Silverstone. It will be the first taste of Formula one power for Qing Hua, who is a member of the team’s driver development programme.

This season there will be two young driver tests, with one taking place in Silverstone in July after the British Grand Prix, and another later in the year in the traditional location of Abu Dhabi. HRT have opted for the UK test, which will last for three days from July 10.

“I’m very happy and fortunate to have the opportunity to drive a Formula One car at the young driver test and do it with HRT Formula One Team,” said the Chinese driver. “I’ve dreamed of this all my life and am aware of the great responsibility that comes with it as I’ll be the first Chinese driver ever to take part in the young driver test.

“I’m very grateful towards HRT Formula One Team for this opportunity and the faith they have shown in me and I won’t let them down. I’m going to be the first Chinese driver at the Young Driver Test but I hope not to be the last one and for many to follow in my footsteps, thanks to the team’s driver development programme which is being very rewarding for me. I hope that with the backing of all my compatriots, both in China and elsewhere, the commitment and link between my nation and the pinnacle of motorsport grows stronger every day.”

Qing Hua started racing aged eight and won the Chinese youth national karting championship when he was 12 years-old. He continued to race karts until 2004, when he entered the Asian Formula Renault Series and won the championship. In 2005 he represented Team China in A1 Grand Prix.

He moved on to Formula Renault 2.0 NEC in 2006, before competing in Spanish Formula Three. In 2009 he took part in various British Formula Three International Series events, before representing Team China for two races in the 2010 Superleague Formula. In 2011 he competed in the Chinese Touring Car Championship and won the title after claiming four wins and four podiums.

“Over the last few weeks we’ve been working with Ma, as a part of our scheduled development programme, at the Valencia and Jerez circuits with different cars and we consider that he is ready to take part in the young driver test that will take place in Silverstone,” said HRT team principal Luis Perez-Sala.

“We’re pleased to be giving him this opportunity in Formula One and for the first member of our driver development programme to start accomplishing his targets. Ma is a young driver who has experience in different categories but who hasn’t perhaps had the continuity which he deserves. He’s very professional, with a positive attitude, he has a feel for the car and, what’s most important, he’s quick. We’ve got faith in his quality and are confident that he will do a good job in Silverstone.”

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