Chinese WTCC racer Ma Qing Hua is unlikely to remain in the championship next year, and says he is targeting a Formula E seat as his next career step.
Ma made his WTCC debut last year in a part-season for the works Citroen squad, before stepping up to a full-time campaign this year in a car run by Sebastien Loeb Racing on behalf of the French manufacturer.
He finished fourth in this year’s standings behind fellow Citroen drivers Jose Maria Lopez, Yvan Muller and Loeb, taking victory in the second race at Vila Real, but is unlikely to return in 2016.
“The opportunity to return to the WTCC is relatively small,” Ma told Motorsport.com, ruling out any chance of continuing in the series with Sebastien Loeb Racing.
“But racing in an FIA championship is my priority, for my sponsor and media exposure.
“I think LMP2 [in WEC] could be an option, as I am a rookie in sportscars and some of the teams have manufacturer links.
“But to be honest, our main focus is on Formula E. The street race-based format and technical nature of the car make it appealing.”
Season two Formula E entry?
Ma’s Citroen ties make DS Virgin Racing the most obvious choice of team, but with Sam Bird and Jean-Eric Vergne already in place, the Chinese driver may be forced to look elsewhere.
"DS Virgin was the target, but now it is difficult, as the team itself is responsible for choosing the drivers, not Citroen,” explained Ma.
“We also approached other teams, and we are hoping to enter part of the 2015-2016 season.”
Motorsport.com understands that the Chinese-owned NEXTEV TCR squad, which took Nelson Piquet Jr to the inaugural Formula E title, is not an option for Ma.
Interview by Jun Qian