Ma Qing Hua joins HRT’s driver development programme

2012 F1 season

Ma Qing Hua, HRT, 2012Chinese driver Ma Qing Hua has been recruited to HRT’s driver development programme.

The 24-year-old won the 1600cc category of the China Touring Car Championship last year. He previously raced in Superleague Formula, Formula Three in Spain and Britain, and A1 Grand Prix.

The team aim to run the driver in the young drivers’ test at the end of the year. He said: “I started in the karting world when I was eight years old and I worked really hard to learn and become quicker every time.

“After competing in categories such as Formula Campus, Formula Renault and F3, I learned a lot about car set-up, technique on circuits and team work to become more professional every time.

“And now finally my childhood dream has become true thanks to the opportunity that HRT has granted me to become an F1 driver. And even more so this year with all the drivers who are competing, with six world champions amongst them.

“Driving an F1 car will be the most incredible experience and I?m going to work hard to earn it. Thanks to HRT for offering me the chance to show what I?m capable of. And thanks to my family and everyone who has always supported me.”

Team principal Luis Perez-Sala said: “We are working so that one of the team?s signs of identity is to serve as a platform to launch young drivers, both nationally and internationally.

“Ma Qing Hua is one those talents in which we believe and we want to help him in his career so that he can make it to Formula 1.

“We like his conditions and we want to take part in his formation by incorporating him to the team?s Driver Development Programme so that he can participate in races and private tests, with the objective of him being able to take part in the Formula 1 tests reserved to young drivers.

“Due to my responsibility in the Circuit de Catalunya young driver programme, I?ve been able to follow his progress and personally assisted some tests he did. I knew he had potential, but I was surprised with his speed, safety, adaptation capacity, attitude and professionalism.

“All these virtues make us believe that his incorporation to the programme will be very positive and will lead to a fruitful and lasting relationship”.

He will make his first public appearance for the team at a press conference next on Thursday ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.

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79 comments on Ma Qing Hua joins HRT’s driver development programme

  1. Steve E said on 5th April 2012, 15:25

    What a pretentious team. Try and make every grand prix before you try and emulater Ferrari or Red Bull. The poor guy probably has no idea what he’s getting into. Good Luck mate!

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 5th April 2012, 23:41

      I imagine he has more idea than you.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th April 2012, 3:54

      Try and make every grand prix before you try and emulater Ferrari or Red Bull

      They’ve managed to make it to every race for the past two years, and there is no evidence that they will no be able to complete the 2012 season.

      • Steve E said on 6th April 2012, 11:06

        When they can start every race like they are supposed to, then get back to me.

        • me262 said on 7th April 2012, 12:40

          how are they trying to ‘emulater’ Ferrari & Red Bull? as is in signing a Chinese driver? initiating a driver development program? competing in Formula 1?

          • Steve E said on 8th April 2012, 11:15

            With the driver development program. They can’t even race in every event for the past two years and yet they have a driver development program. I think they should concentrate on making the grid in Australia next year before worrying about driver development. After all, there is no need to develop a driver if he isn’t racing.

  2. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 5th April 2012, 15:59

    Let’s give the guy a chance. We don’t really know that much about him, as he’s only made cameo appearances in recognised series, so let’s assume he must have some talent.

    Face it, people would only back him if they felt he could make a return on their investment, so even if he is a pay driver, which is extremely likely, he should be all right. Probably not champion material, though.

  3. FlyingLobster27 said on 5th April 2012, 16:24

    Does anyone else remember another Chinese hopeful from a few years ago?
    I guess he’s still Ho-Pin Tung get there!

    (ba dum tsss)

  4. GeorgeDaviesF1 (@georgedaviesf1) said on 5th April 2012, 16:45

    I’ve just had a thought, I’ve got a full driving licence, surely I can’t be that far away from a place in HRT’s driver development programme ;)

  5. David-A (@david-a) said on 5th April 2012, 18:48

    What convenient timing. Just a week before the CHINESE Grand Prix…

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 5th April 2012, 23:40

      @david-a Exactly. Good idea, yes?

      Makes good sense to me. Why would they make a secret of it?

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 5th April 2012, 23:44

        @andrew-tanner – I’m aware that they wouldn’t make a secret of it. And I guess HRT do need some attention brought to their brand. Ma will have an uphill struggle to prove himself though.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th April 2012, 2:52

      @david-a

      What convenient timing. Just a week before the CHINESE Grand Prix…

      Why wouldn’t you wait until the week before the Chinese Grand Prix? If a team like Red Bull was picking up a Chinese driver for their development programme and announced it a week before the Chinese Grand Prix, you wouldn’t give it a second thought.

  6. James (@jamesf1) said on 5th April 2012, 23:36

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    ^ I think that say’s it all!

  7. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 5th April 2012, 23:38

    Good news for the guy and good news for the team. This seems like it will have mutual benefit and why not.

  8. Afya said on 6th April 2012, 0:31

    Hope that is a good news for both Ma and HRT. It’s nice to see my people joining the #1 motorsport. And hope the interest (and maybe fund) from China can help HRT catch up a bit on the grid.

  9. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th April 2012, 2:50

    I have to laugh at some of the reactions in this thread. Driver development programs are nothing new, but because HRT are launching one and because the first driver they ave chosen is Chinese, it’s “obviously” all about the money or the public relations (or both).

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 6th April 2012, 4:31

      @prisoner-monkeys

      People (including myself) have jumped to those assumptions because HRT have shown time and time again that they desperately need money. Trying to compete on a shoestring budget is nothing to be ashamed of. I even applaud them for trying and hope they survive as well as improve.

      Ma could turn out to be a superb driver and/or the HRT driver program a huge success. But Ma’s career highlight in single seaters so far is to finish 10th in British Formula 3. I’m not convinced that this isn’t at least partially for financial reasons. Again, it’s nothing against HRT, as it is a sensible move and should benefit both parties, it’s just what I as an F1 fan think.

    • Joel Holland (@jholland) said on 6th April 2012, 10:51

      F1 is, for the most part, all about money and PR.

  10. breaking news: HRT have just signed their first main sponsor on a multi-million euro deal. The deal with ‘Len Huot 2 dollar shop’ was formalised today. It was announced that they would also be a technology partner..

    It is also rumoured that HRT are in advanced discussion with Chinese fashion giant Louis Vuittong

  11. Jose said on 6th April 2012, 8:53

    Poor Ho Pin Tung, he never get a chance into real racing, showing up in circus performance only.

  12. Joel Holland (@jholland) said on 6th April 2012, 10:49

    It’s just lines like this that wind me up:

    ““Ma Qing Hua is one those talents in which we believe and we want to help him in his career so that he can make it to Formula 1.”

    I understand that F1 teams need to sign pay drivers. I understand that they need to be nice about them in their press releases. But when you say a guy who has never achieved anything of note “is one those talents in which we believe” you just come off as full of rubbish. There are limits to how much you can lie in a press release without coming off as stupid. I’ve got nothing against Ma, but I’m sure he’s way off F1 level.

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