Ma delighted with 'extraordinary experience'
7 September 2012 – Friday saw Ma Qing Hua make history, becoming the first Chinese driver to take part in an official Formula 1 weekend session. The HRT reserve driver took the wheel of Narain Karthikeyan’s cockpit in the morning period, finishing within two seconds of experienced team-mate Pedro de la Rosa.
“It was an extraordinary experience and I’m happy with my performance,” he said. “From the start I felt comfortable in the car and working with the team and I accomplished all the targets we set ourselves. We started with quite a long stint on Hard tyres and then we made changes to the setup as I adapted to the F112. It was an important step for me, but also for motorsport in China since it’s a very young sport there but with a great potential.”
Also encouraged by the performance was Team Principal Luis Pérez-Sala.
“I’m happy because Ma has taken another step in his development programme as a Formula 1 driver and he had a satisfactory debut. He did what was asked of him and showed clear progression, with no mistakes, to finish the session inside the 107 percent.”
The car ran into trouble with Karthikeyan on-board during the afternoon, forcing HRT to end their session early because of an exhaust-related issue.