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Caterham reserves get Friday outings

28 March 2013

Caterham reserve drivers Ma Qing Hua and Alexander Rossi are to take part in Friday practice during the next two rounds of the F1 season.

Former HRT test driver Ma, now competing for Caterham's GP2 team, will get behind the wheel of the CT03 for the first time ahead of his home race in Shanghai, with Charles Pic stepping aside for the opening session of the weekend.

In Bahrain, Giedo van der Garde will then step aside in FP1 to give Rossi the chance to sample the new car, with the Dutchman also set to miss three further practice sessions later in the year.

"As it stands I will lose four Friday sessions," the Dutchman told GPUpdate.net. "The first one I won't be driving is Bahrain. I would have rather be driving these sessions myself and get as much track time as possible, but this is in the contract and I'm sure it will be good experience for these guys.

"I had that same role with the team last year and because of the work I did then, I earned this race seat."

Rossi meanwhile said he was looking forward to sampling the new car and was eager to make an impression on track.

“My first outing will be in Friday practice in Bahrain, so it's just a week after China,” he wrote in his column for ESPNF1. “I'm very much looking forward to that because it's a chance to drive the car and I know the track pretty well. I did GP2 Asia there so, while it's only 90 minutes, it gives me a chance to make an impression.

“The main focus is to carry out the programme for the team, but let's be real here; motorsport is all about lap times, isn't it? So I'm going to need to find the balance between carrying out the job for the team and performance. At the end of the day everybody is going to look down at the results and see how you do, so while you have to ensure you can get through the run plan and you have to save the tyres, you can't be out for a Sunday drive because that will hurt you in another way.

“I'm confident because I've already had an FP1 session with the team in Barcelona last year, but the performance is going to be something that will be important to me.”


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