Monaco, Wednesday the 23rd of May 2012
In only a month and half’s time, Chinese driver Ma Qing Hua will enjoy his first opportunity to step into a Formula 1 car and will do so at the wheel of the F112 at the legendary Silverstone circuit. The member of the Spanish team’s new-born driver development programme will thereby accomplish one of his first objectives on his road to the pinnacle of motorsport.
As opposed to previous years, this season there will be two Young Driver Tests, the traditional one celebrated in Abu Dhabi and a new one taking place earlier in the year just after the British Grand Prix. Each team could choose which one to attend and HRT Formula 1 Team has leaned towards the Young Driver Test taking place in Silverstone on the 10th, 11th and 12th of July.
With these tests, the 24 year-old Chinese driver will continue to make progress in his programme, which in the last months has included tests with cars from different categories, such as World Series or Formula 3, in Jerez and Valencia, whilst also carrying out tests on the simulator. The team considers him to be sufficiently prepared to take the next step and has complete faith in Ma Qing Hua’s capabilities.
The testing programme for the Shanghai-born driver at the Young Driver Test in Silverstone, just like the length of these, will be specified and confirmed further ahead.
Ma Qing Hua: “I’m very happy and fortunate to have the opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car at the Young Driver Test and do it with HRT Formula 1 Team. 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 1 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”.
Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: “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. We’re pleased to be giving him this opportunity in Formula 1 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”.