Ma Qing Hua makes history

Date published: July 13 2012

Ma Qing Hua wrote his name in the F1 record books as he became the first Chinese driver to drive a F1 car at an official event…

Ma Qing Hua wrote his name in the F1 record books as he became the first Chinese driver to drive a F1 car at an official event.

The 24-year-old contested the opening day of the Young Driver test at Silverstone on Thursday, making his F1 debut.

He completed 82 laps, the first of which were in short burst as he adapt to the F112. After that the Shanghai-born driver took part in qualifying runs, pit stop practices and a final long distance stint.

“It was a fantastic feeling to drive a Formula 1 car for the first time; it’s not easy to put into words what I felt,” he said.

“Yesterday I found it hard to sleep and I tried to calm down by thinking that it was just another test.

“I think we did a good job and everything went according to plan, with good weather too. By being here during the grand prix, I learned a lot from my team-mates and also to work as a team, as it is very important to give the right information to the engineers in order to optimise the performance of the car.

“In the morning we did the maximum amount of running to get used to the car, engineers and mechanics and buttons, and also to gain confidence.”

Ma is hoping that Thursday’s running will lead to bigger and better, not only for himself but also China.

“I’m very proud to represent China and be a pioneer for my nation in this sport.

“I’m confident that these tests and the ones that will come in the future will help motorsport to grow in China in the future and will grant more opportunities for everyone.

“This is only a first small step but once more I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has supported me and made this possible.”

For HRT it was their one and only day of testing with the team saying that as he had ‘satisfactorily completed the scheduled programme throughout the day, so the team has put an end to these tests and will head towards Germany tomorrow for the tenth grand prix of the season.’

Related Links
Day One: Bottas Sets The Pace
Gallery: Silverstone Young Driver Test