Sat, 14 Jul 2012 14:06:47 GMT | By IANS

Ma Qing Hua becomes first Chinese to drive F1 car

London: Ma Qing Hua has become the first Chinese to drive a Formula One car after he got the taste of HRT's F112 at the Silverstone Circuit.

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."

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