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Ma set to become first Chinese driver to compete in his home race weekend

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Ma set to become first Chinese driver to compete in his home race weekend
Apr 11, 2013, 5:13 PM

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...

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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