Honda website

DECEMBER 12, 2003

Here's Ho-Ping!

The big news event at Jerez de la Frontera on Thursday was the 41 laps completed by Sino-Dutchman Ho-Ping Tung, who became the first Chinese driver to drive a modern Formula 1 car. The 21-year-old, who won the Formula BMW series in Asia this year, was almost six seconds slower than fastest man of the day Pedro de la Rosa in his McLaren but that was not important. What mattered was that he was there at all because it opens the way for Formula 1 to make a bigger impact in China, home of 1.3bn people and target for many of F1's sponsors.

The test was particularly important given that next year china will host its first Grand Prix in Shanghai.