Hispania Racing Team have signed the Chinese driver Ma Qing Hua as part of the team's young driver development programme.
The 24 year old has had to endure a busy first weekend in F1 at his home grand prix.
He sat down with The National to talk about it.
Q: You are arriving with a background in A1, Formula Renault and Formula Three, what are the plans to help you reach F1?
A: The plan is to do some World Series or GP2 testing. This will allow me to learn better how to handle the powerful cars. We will definitely do the testing first as it's the priority and I will also follow the team to some race events, which will allow me to get to know the guys better.
Q: For the past two years, some young drivers have had their first experience of an F1 car at the Young Drivers Test in Abu Dhabi. Are you aiming to be involved in that?
A: Maybe it is something we can do, but before we can even start thinking about the rookie days, we have to do some training in other formulas. Definitely, we have to do a lot of kilometres in GP2 or World Series by Renault to learn more about what to expect in Formula One.
Q: Who is your hero in Formula One?
A: I like all the F1 drivers. They all have their own style and are, for me, the best in the world at what they do. I intend to try to learn as much as possible from them all.
Q: How did you come to be involved in racing?
A: I started racing go-karts aged eight. The following year I raced in the Chinese go-kart championships and by 2008 I was racing European Formula Three. It was my first year, it was all new to me and it was difficult because all the drivers are very good. It was in 2008 that I first met Luis [Perez-Sala, the HRT principal]. He was racing GT and I was F3 and we kept in touch.
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