Chinese driver Ma Qing Hua is to make his third Friday practice appearance of the season after HRT confirmed he will replace Narain Karthikeyan for the first session in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
Qing Hua previously drove for the team in both Italy and Singapore, as well as in the Young Driver Test at Silverstone earlier in the year, and he said was excited about the prospect of another run at the wheel of the F112.
"I'm delighted to have another chance to drive again during a Grand Prix weekend with HRT F1 Team,” he said. “After my two Friday outings in Monza and Singapore, I've continued to work hard both physically and mentally to be well prepared for opportunities like this one. Apart from the gym and the simulator, I've spent a lot of time going karting as its one of the best ways to train, keep fit and stay focused. To be able to continue gaining experience in a Formula 1 car and adding more miles to my tally is essential for me right now and I want to thank the team for making it happen.
“I'm getting to know the car and the engineers more each time and this makes me more confident every time I step in the car. My target now is to keep on progressing and learning from the team. I'm really looking forward to getting back out on track and it will be interesting to drive at a circuit like Abu Dhabi where I hav e never been before."
Both Karthikeyan and Pedro de la Rosa will be competing in Abu Dhabi for the first time this weekend and de la Rosa admitted that the team would need to resolve the braking issues it has suffered in recent races if it wanted to secure a solid result.
"The Yas Marina is a circuit where braking, maximum speed and grip are essential and it's very smooth so you can be aggressive with the height and bring out a very low car,” he said. “I know the track from when I tested with Pirelli, although I've never taken part in the Grand Prix, and it's a very nice circuit and even more so at night time.
“Our car should adapt quite well, especially in the first sector which is made up of straights and braking areas. It will be another tough challenge for our brakes so it's very important to understand what happened in India, fix it and try to finish the race.”