Motor racing-China's Qing Hua joins Caterham in F1 reserve role

LONDON, March 1 Fri Mar 1, 2013 10:00am GMT

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LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) - China's Ma Qing Hua will be a Caterham reserve driver this season along with American Alexander Rossi, the Formula One team said on Friday.

Shanghai-born Qing Hua, who was a development driver with now-defunct Spanish outfit HRT last year, will attend all the grands prix and also compete for Caterham Racing in the GP2 support series.

He will also take part in the first Friday free practice session at next month's Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

Qing Hua, 25, featured in four F1 practice sessions last year, becoming the first Chinese-born driver to take part in a grand prix weekend.

"I'm very pleased to welcome Ma into our team. Alexander continues his development with us into 2013 and his promotion is a reflection of the investment we are making in him for the future," said team principal Cyril Abiteboul in a statement.

"Ma...will play a key role in helping our GP2 team achieve their 2013 goals. 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."

Rossi will also attend all the grands prix and take part in a number of practice sessions for the Malaysian-owned team who have Frenchman Charles Pic and Dutch rookie Giedo Van der Garde as race drivers.

Caterham have yet to score a point in Formula One after three seasons under various names. The season starts in Australia on March 17. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, Editing by Clare Fallon)

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