Fri, Nov 16, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Chinese F1 hopeful Ma focused despite HRT sale

AFP, SHANGHAI

China’s Ma Qinghua has promised not to lose focus as he pursues his Formula One dream after his HRT team was put up for sale, a report said yesterday.

Ma, who became China’s first Formula One driver when he took part in official practice sessions at this year’s Italian and Singapore races, said he needed to concentrate on his training rather than HRT’s ownership.

“No matter who will be the boss, the team is still there. So what I need to focus on now is to improve myself through training,” he said, according to Fujian’s Southeastern Express.

On Monday the Spanish team’s owner, Thesan Capital, announced it was in talks with potential buyers. Perennial back-markers HRT are yet to win a point in three seasons in Formula One.

Ma’s agent Jin Yong also pledged the driver would be in action at next year’s Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, despite HRT’s expected buyout.

“No matter who the boss is, Ma will definitely compete in next year’s F1 race in Shanghai,” Jin was quoted as saying.

According to www.autosport.com, HRT has denied reports that Ma has signed to race full-time next year alongside Pedro de la Rosa. India’s Narain Karthikeyan is the team’s other current driver.

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