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Ma set to become first Chinese driver to compete in his home race weekend
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Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Apr 2013   |  5:13 pm GMT  |  3 comments

Ma Qing Ha will become the first Chinese driver to compete in his home grand prix weekend, when he replaces Charles Pic in first practice on Friday for the Chinese Grand Prix.

The 25-year-old has competed in four practice sessions previously with HRT, but this will be his first outing since signing for Caterham as reserve driver.

Ma, along with race driver Giedo van der Garde, will be working on handling and set-up issues which Pic says the team have struggled with in the opening two races of the season.

Pic, who will back in the car from second practice on Friday for the rest of the weekend, said: “One area we will focus on in the practice sessions is making sure the car’s very stable under braking so I can attack into each braking zone – you need that and very good traction out of the slower corners to push the cars ahead around the whole lap.

“On Friday and Saturday morning we’ll also be working on several performance areas that the team has been looking at since Malaysia, particularly around dialling out the understeer issues I had in Australia and Malaysia.

“We have a few setup options to try to help with that, and some ideas we’re going to look at with Pirelli so I’m sure we can make good progress on that.”

Van der Garde added: “One thing we are going to be focusing on in China is work on improving our setup options for qualifying, using the practice sessions to give us as many options as possible for the race but also for qualifying.

“I didn’t have the car behaving exactly as I’d like in either Australia or Malaysia so I want to get that right in China.”

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3 Comments
  1. magic carpet says:

    Participating in P1 is hardly “competing”.

    1. knoxploration says:

      I was going to say exactly the same thing. I’m sorry, James, it sounds lovely to say but he’s not competing. You don’t compete until you get to Q1, and even then the front runners don’t truly compete until Q2 or Q3.

  2. goferet says:

    Hmm… That’s strange!!!

    Ma Qing Ha has got to be the first Chinese driver I have ever heard of for the majority of Asian drivers I know of are from Japan.

    Yes, wishing Ma Qing Ha the best of luck as he makes history as the first Chinese driver to compete in his home grand prix.

    Unfortunately for him and other reserve drivers, with the ban on in-season testing, these new guns don’t really get to grip with these machines because basically, all these drivers have is a small window of 90 minutes to impress and if it rains, well…

    Anyway, hopefully Ma Qing will get a race seat soon for it would be an amazing sight seeing all the seats at the Grand Prix filled up.

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