F1 »

Has HRT signed Ma to 2013 race deal?

Rumours from China claim that Ma Qing Hua has been signed to a race deal by HRT.
China could finally have its first F1 race driver in 2013, amid reports emanating from Shanghai that Ma Qing Hua is to be promoted from the occasional testing role to partner Pedro de la Rosa at HRT.

Ma was a surprise addition to the Spanish team's roster ahead of the Silverstone 'young driver' test in July, but has since been given a handful of Friday morning practice outings with the squad, mostly at the expense of Narain Karthikeyan. Now, with the Indian rumoured to be exploring the IndyCar scene for next year, Ma appears to have earned himself the chance to graduate to the full race line-up.

According to the Tencent sports channel, the 24-year old Shanghai native was announced as one half of HRT's line-up for 2013 during a press conference in his home city, a move which would make him the first Chinese native to be given a shot at competing in a full grand prix season. Dutch-born Ho-Pin Tung, of course, tested with the Williams team but never actually contested an F1 event.

Ma's latest outing saw him complete the first of three free practice sessions around the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi some 1.6secs off Marussia debutant Max Chilton, and a further 1.4secs off what Karthikeyan would go on to achieve in the quicker evening session. HRT will no doubt be hoping that his place in the squad will bring sponsorship from China, despite having had its fingers burned in a similar experiment with Karthikeyan and India.

Should the deal be ratified by HRT, it is likely that Ma will partner veteran de la Rosa in 2013, the Spaniard having been all but confirmed by team principal Luis Perez Sala in the wake of the Korean Grand Prix. de la Rosa, a renowned test and development driver who spent many seasons working behind the scenes to give McLaren a winning car, also brings a vital Spanish element to the Madrid-based HRT squad as it seeks to embrace its home nation.

Ma's signing would also end any immediate hopes nominated reserve Dani Clos may have of joining de la Rosa in an all-Spanish line-up, the GP2 Series race winner having had his own Friday outings curtailed by the Chinese driver's arrival. Jaime Alguersuari and Giedo van der Garde have both also been linked to HRT, but are thought unlikely to have included the minnow in their plans for next season. Alguersuari is still being talked of as a possible Sauber or Force India pilot, while van der Garde has his immediate sights set on graduating with Caterham.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Dani Clos (ESP), Test Driver, HRT Formula 1 Team F112
25.10.2012- Press conference, Narain Karthikeyan (IND) HRT Formula 1 Team F112
26.10.2012- Free Practice 1, Pedro de la Rosa (ESP) HRT Formula 1 Team F112
06.09.2012- Ma Qing Hua (CHI), Test Driver, HRT Formula 1 Team F112
06.09.2012- Ma Qing Hua (CHI), Test Driver, HRT Formula 1 Team F112
07.09.2012- Free Practice 1, Ma Qing Hua (CHI), Test Driver, HRT Formula 1 Team F112
21.09.2012 - Free Practice 1, Ma Qing Hua (CHN) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) Test Driver
07.09.2012- Free Practice 1, Ma Qing Hua (CHI), Test Driver, HRT Formula 1 Team F112
John Watson driving the McLaren MP4B at the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix, Las Vegas
Guy Moll at the 1934 Grand Prix Automobile de Montreux   [pic credit:Agence de presse Meurisse/Bibliothèque nationale de France]
Andrea de Cesaris driving for Jordan at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix
03.10.2014 - Free Practice 2, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22 leads Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
06.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, (L to R):  Joe Custer (USA) Stewart Haas Racing Vice President; and Mattia Binotto (ITA) Ferrari Race Engine Manager.
05.09.2014 - Free Practice 1, Antonio Felix da Costa (POR) Test Driver Red Bull Racing, Augusto Farfus (BRA) and Pedro LAMY (POR)
Rene Dreyfus and Tazio Nuvolari at the 1935 Grand Prix de Pau
Pic credit: Agence de presse Meurisse‏ [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) Ferrari F14-T Development Driver.
08.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Tuesday.
Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) Ferrari F14-T Development Driver.
08.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Tuesday.
Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) Ferrari F14-T Development Driver.
08.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Tuesday.

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


kedharf1 - Unregistered

November 06, 2012 1:05 PM

If this is true (or if they are even considering it), HRT would make themselves even more of a joke than they are! And to those who are comparing Ma with Narain, are you crazy? Narain is a proven, credible racing driver who has won in EVERY single seater championship he has raced in except F1, against the likes of Jenson Button etc... He set the fastest non f1 lap in Brazil, he gave Carlin Motorsport their first ever win in racing! He outqualified De La Rosa by 1 second in singapore and his FP3 times on prime tyres were faster than DLR's quali times on options! For the 2nd half of the season. He has consistently missed FP1 and FP2 has been wet mostly, so despite effectively going into qualifying with one hour of running, he has more or less matched DLR. People like Lewis Hamilton, David Coulthard, Pedor DLR, Jackie Stewart, Peter Windsor, Emerson Fittipaldi have shown their confidence in his speed.

rb27 - Unregistered

November 06, 2012 11:10 AM

What a Joke this has to be the worst line up in F1 EVER!! MA Qing Hua will be an absolute liability and danger to all the other drivers his only wins ever in a car have been in a 1.6 Touring car. F1 is supposed to be for the BEST drivers in the world!!



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.