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Special> Video> Latest
UPDATED: November 7, 2012
Ma Qinghua Becomes First Chinese F1 Driver

Ma Qinghua has become the first Chinese to race in Formula One after Spain's HRT F1 Team announced on Tuesday that the Chinese pilot will drive for HRT in the 2013 season.

The 25-year-old was unveiled as an HRT team driver in Shanghai. Ma joined the HRT Driver Development Program and later made his debut at the Singapore Grand Prix earlier this season. He said it's a new starting point in his career. HRT tested several drivers beforehand and it was the Chinese who performed best. The Spanish team decided to upgrade Ma from test driver to pilot for the upcoming season.

Ma started racing at the age of eight and won the youth National Karting Championship aged 12. In 2004, he entered the Asian Formula Renault Series and was crowned champion. In 2006, Ma moved to Formula Renault 2, and claimed the title in the Chinese National Karting Super Group one year later.

In 2008 he drove in Formula 3 Spain and Formula 3 Spain Copa de Espana, finishing seventh and managing two podium finishes. In 2010 he represented Team China in two races in Superleague Formula before moving to the Chinese Touring Car Championship in 2011.

He came away with the title after four wins and four podiums in the eight-race season. Ma is a quiet character, which he says works to his advantage.

(CNTV.cn November 6, 2012)


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