Ma Qing Hua, born on 25th of December, 1987 in Shanghai, is probably the most popular racing driver from China.
At the age of 8, Ma began racing karts and over the years progressed through the national ranks and became Chinese champion four years later. In 2004, he moved to the single-seaters, he raced in the Asian Formula Renault Series and immediately won the title, which secured him a place with the Team China in the 2005-2006 season of A1 Grand Prix.
Ma Qing Hua - the first Chinese in Formula 1 and the first Chinese to win the FIA-sanctioned race
In the meantime, he moved to Europe and debuted in the Italian Formula 3000 with the Team Astromega. With the same team, Ma Qing Hua in 2006 raced in the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC Series but failed to score notable results.
Formula 3 episodes
After sitting out the 2007 season, Ma Qing Hua in 2008 moved to Spain to compete in the Spanish Formula 3. He managed to score two podium places in the Cup championship and finished 7th in the final standings. It seemed like his career was moving in the right direction but the following two years were again relatively poor.
Ma Qing Hua, Team China, Superleague Formula
In 2009, Ma raced part-time in the British Formula 3 National Class. Two races for Team China 2010 Formula Superleague followed but again without too much success, so Ma decided to try his luck in other racing categories.
Ma Qing Hua was China Touring Car Champion and first ever Chinese in Formula 1
Ma Qing Hua entered 2011 China Touring Car Championship 1600 cc class with the Beijing Hyundai team and that was one of his best seasons so far. He won the title with 3 race wins and scored a total of 116 points.
Ma Qing Hua, Hispania Racing Team
Next year, Ma became the first driver from China who earned a place in Formula 1. He became the test pilot for Hispania Racing Team and in the Italian Grand Prix, he made a debut during the Friday’s practice, replacing Narain Karthikeyan. Later that year he was also given a chance to test the car in Singapore, Abu Dhabi, and US Grand Prix.
Ma Qing Hua, Caterham Racing, GP2 Series
HRT collapsed at the end of 2012 and Ma moved to Caterham Racing F1 Team. He was again the test driver but appeared in only one Friday session, at Shanghai International Circuit. That year Ma Qing Hua also debuted in the GP2 Series, racing in the feature race in Singapore, finishing at the bottom. After a while, Caterham released Ma from the duties.
Good results in the WTCC
In the middle of 2014 campaign, Ma joined strong Citroen WTCC team and again moved to touring cars which turned out to be a good decision. He won the second race in Russia and became the first Chinese driver who won the FIA-sanctioned event. Ma appeared in four rounds that year and finished 2nd in the opening race in China.
Ma Qing Hua after winning the WTCC race at Moscow Raceway
Citroen retained Ma’s services in 2015 and he did really well. With more confidence and experience, he raced the full season and again scored one victory – in the main race in Portugal. He also had five podiums and eventually finished 4th in the championship, behind his teammates Jose Maria Lopez, Yvan Muller, and Sebastien Loeb.
Ma Qing Hua moves to Formula E
After Citroen decided to reduce its presence in the WTCC, Ma had to leave the team. However, he found a new engagement in the fast-growing FIA Formula E Championship. He signed with the Team Aguri for the last four races of the year but failed to pick points.
Ma Qing Hua, Techeetah, Formula E
Chinese driver stayed in the series for the 2016-2017 campaign. Team Aguri was sold to China Media Capital and renamed to Techeetah, so Ma will have a chance to score his maiden points in the series as a member of the Chinese team.