Ma Qing Hua becomes first Chinese to drive F1 car
"Thursday was an historic day for Formula 1 (F1) and HRT," said the team on its official website.
The morning's programme included short test stints for the Shanghai-born driver, who tried to adapt to the car and build up confidence at the wheel, completing 54 laps (318 km). In the afternoon, Ma covered a further 28 laps (165 km), recording the best time of 1:37.829.
"It was a fantastic feeling to drive a F1 car for the first time," said the 24-year-old.
"It's not easy to put into words what I felt. Yesterday, I found it hard to sleep and I tried to calm down by thinking that it was just another test. I'm very proud to represent China and be a pioneer for my nation in this sport," he added.
Luis Perez-Sala, HRT team principal, was satisfied with Ma's performance.
"It's not easy to drive a F1 car and he made no mistakes. We want to take things one step at a time with him. He did a great job and now we have to continue working so that he can continue to progress in his journey towards F1."