BEIJING, Sept 17, 2012 (AFP) - China's Ma Qinghua said he was looking forward to the "new challenge" of Singapore after making history as his country's first driver to take part in a Formula One Grand Prix weekend.
Ma, from Shanghai, said Singapore's street circuit and night racing was a very different proposition from Italy's Monza track, where he drove a practice session for the HRT team earlier this month.
"Monza is rather traditional and currently the fastest F1 circuit in the world, but Singapore is a new challenge for me because I've never driven on a street circuit, or at night," he told the China Daily.
"Singapore's road conditions will be completely different from those in Monza -- there will be more curves and less buffer zones. The circuit is surrounded by walls, so if there's any mistake you will just get hit," he added.
Last year's Chinese Touring Car champion, 24, finished at the back of the field in his Italian Grand Prix practice session, but avoided any mistakes or crashes. He said he was working hard to take the next step forward.
"Only persistent pursuit can make your dreams possible -- everybody around me told me it's only a fantasy to drive F1 before I signed the contract with HRT, but I did it," said Ma.