Skip to main content

Chinese driver to make F1 history at Italian GP

September 6, 2012 -- Updated 1708 GMT (0108 HKT)
HRT's Chinese test driver Ma Qing Hua will take the wheel in practice for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.
HRT's Chinese test driver Ma Qing Hua will take the wheel in practice for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ma Qing Hua to drive HRT in first practice session of Italian GP at Monza
  • Qing Hua will become the first Chinese driver in official F1 competition
  • He will take over from India's Narain Karthikeyan for the session
  • The 24-year-old acquired his FIA super license earlier this season

(CNN) -- F1 history will be made in Friday's first practice at the Italian Grand Prix when Ma Qing Hua takes to the Monza track for HRT.

Qing Hua will become the first Chinese driver to compete in an official F1 competition when he takes over from India's Narain Karthikeyan for the session.

The 24-year-old will not compete in the actual race, but is pleased to be closer to fulfilling that ambition by rubbing shoulders with the likes of title leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.

"This is a very important step towards my dream of becoming a Formula One driver," he told the official F1 website.

"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."

Montezemolo: Ferrari could leave F1
Fernando Alonso recovers from car crash

Qing Hua acquired his FIA super license, which allows him to compete in F1, during a test earlier this year at Silverstone.

He has previously competed in Formula Renault, A1 Grand Prix and Formula Three as well as winning last year's Chinese Touring Car Championship.

HRT team boss Luis Perez-Sala has had no hesitation in giving the young driver his chance to compete at the top level.

"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."

HRT has yet to register a point for either of its drivers, Spain's Pedro de la Rosa or Karthikeyan, with a best finish of 13th this season.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 21, 2014 -- Updated 1459 GMT (2259 HKT)
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1516 GMT (2316 HKT)
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Susie Wolff, pictured, will become the Formula One's first female competitor in 20 years when she takes part in the first practice sessions at the British and German grands prix in July.
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
ADVERTISEMENT