Skip to main content

China's Ma lands Caterham spot as Grand Prix debut ever closer

March 1, 2013 -- Updated 2200 GMT (0600 HKT)
Ma Quing Hua is a trailblazer for Chinese drivers as he bids to establish himself in Formula One.
Ma Quing Hua is a trailblazer for Chinese drivers as he bids to establish himself in Formula One.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ma Quing Hua confirmed as Caterham reserve driver for 2013
  • Chinese driver will take part in a practice session at his home grand prix
  • Jules Bianchi signed up by Marussia for coming season
  • Romain Grosjean fastest in Friday's testing in Barcelona

(CNN) -- Ma Quing Hua took a step nearer to becoming the first Chinese driver to compete in a Formula One race when he was named as a reserve driver for the Caterham team for the 2013 season Friday.

American Alexander Rossi was also picked as an understudy to the Malaysian-owned team's pair of Frenchman Charles Pic and Dutch rookie Giedo van der Garde.

Ma was previously with now defunct Spanish outfit HRT and took part in an official practice session as he broke new ground.

Caterham, whose co-chairman is airline magnet Tony Fernandez, the owner of EPL football side Queens Park Rangers, will give Ma the chance to take part in first practice ahead of his home grand prix next month.

He will also race for Caterham in the GP2 series during 2013.

Caterham's guide to Singapore
Racing the Monaco Grand Prix

"I know the fans at home will be really excited to see me race in GP2," Ma told Caterham's official team website.

"With the F1 work I also have ahead of me, China can be proud that it continues to have a driver involved in motor racing at the very highest level."

Read: Sutil to return to Force India

Caterham principal Cyril Abiteboul added: "We are looking forward to helping him develop his talents, both in the F1 and GP2 environments, and giving Chinese fans a figurehead to support on track throughout the year ahead."

Meanwhile, Marussia confirmed their 2013 driver line-up by signing Frenchman Jules Bianchi to join Britain's Max Chilton.

Bianchi, who missed out on the number two slot for Force India to Germany's Adrian Sutil, will replace Brazilian Luiz Razia at the Russian-licensed team.

Testing for the season continued in Barcelona Friday and France's Romain Grosjean, in a Lotus, set the fastest time in dry afternoon conditions.

His best of one minute 22.716 seconds was half a second quicker than McLaren driver Jenson Button, who had set the best time in the morning at the Catalunya circuit in wet conditions.

World champion Sebastian Vettel was fourth fastest in his Red Bull.

The testing session ends Sunday ahead of the start of the 2013 season in Melbourne on March 17.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
ADVERTISEMENT