Rio Haryanto, GP2, 2015

Indonesian government offers Manor £10m for Haryanto seat

2016 F1 season

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The Indonesian government has offered Manor €15 million (£10.8m) to run Rio Haryanto in next year’s championship.

Rio Haryanto, Manor, Yas Marina, 2015
Haryanto tested for Manor at Yas Marina
Haryanto has the backing of the Indonesian Ministry of Youth and Sports, which today tweeted a photograph of a letter to Manor owner Stephen Fitzpatrick making the offer (see below).

“Regarding to our discussions with Rio Haryanto and his management, we are pleased to confirm that the Ministry of Youth and Sport of The Republic of Indonesia will guarantee a payment of 15 (fifteen) Million Euro for Rio Haryanto to compete the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship with the Manor Formula 1 team,” said the letter from Youth and Sports minister Imam Nahrawi.

The payments will be made in return for “branding space on the race cars and drivers’ race wear plus a host of promotional activities to promote Indonesia and associated companies”.

Haryanto, who ended his fourth season of GP2 this year in fourth place, tested for Manor in Abu Dhabi last week. He first tested for the team in 2010, when it competed as Virgin.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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86 comments on “Indonesian government offers Manor £10m for Haryanto seat”

  1. yea that will get him one fp1 session

  2. I wonder if some wrangling will be needed with the FIA to get him in the car. By my reckoning he only has 20 superlicence points. However drivers who’ve held superlicences within the past three years can also qualify, and he may do so on account of his prior testing.

    1. @keithcollantine We as Belgians should start a kickstarter for Vandoorne. Though if every Belgian gave a Euro we still wouldn’t be at the 15 milj mark.

      1. Vandoorne deserves better than a Manor, even a Manor with a Mercedes engine and a Williams back end.

    2. drivers who’ve held superlicences within the past three years can also qualify, and he may do so on account of his prior testing.

      That’s a great news. Didn’t knew that before.

        1. 229 billion Rupiahs…

          1. 229 billion? I think they should reevaluate the value of the Rupiah! :)

      1. Probably because it only appeared in the last revision of the Superlicence rules – in the version that applied for most of 2015, Rio would definitely be stuck on 20 points and needing an exemption to enter F1.

    3. By my calculation he has 30. 7 points from 5th in GP3, 3 points from 7th in GP3 and 20 points for 4th in GP2 last season. So that would make it easier to convince the FIA. But what is the point of a 40 point threshold if everyone close and with a bit of money get a place in F1. It should be either lowered if the FIA think it is too harsh, or just say he can’t race until he spends another season in GP2 (or other series) until he gets the remaining 10.

      1. 7 points from 5th in GP3, 3 points from 7th in GP3

        Those results were more than three years ago (2010 and 2011) so they won’t count.

    4. Pretty sure there is a “special circumstances” clause in the superlicense rules. I always figured they could bring women in via this clause.

      1. @glennb I would say the “Have been granted a superlicence in any of the previous three seasons”/”Have been granted a superlicence prior to the previous three seasons” is the closest to that at the moment, but that’s not going to allow just anyone example. The rules are quoted here.

        1. Thanks Keith.
          I was referring to this: (see 5.1.2 (f))
          APPENDIX L 2015
          Published on 3 December 2015 (already outdated)

          f) be judged by the FIA to have consistently demonstrated outstanding ability in single-seater formula cars, but with no opportunity to qualify under any of c) to e) above. In this case the F1 team concerned must show that the applicant has driven at least 300 km in a current Formula One car consistently at racing speeds, over a maximum period of 2 days, completed not more than 90 days prior to the application and certified by the ASN of the country in which the test took place

          http://www.fia.com/regulations/regulation/international-sporting-code-123
          This clause has been removed from 2016. My mistake…

          The clauses you correctly refer to are (new for 2016)
          5.1.7
          b) Have been granted a Super Licence (excluding Free Practice Only
          Super Licence) in any of the previous 3 seasons.
          c) Have been granted a Super Licence prior to the previous 3 seasons
          (excluding Free Practice Only Super Licence). In this case, the
          driver must be judged by the FIA to have recently and consistently
          demonstrated outstanding ability in single-seater formula cars.

          I don’t know which is more complicated, the new tyre rules or the new licensing rules.

    5. @keithcollantine, before we discuss that aspect, has anybody provided any form of independent verification that this letter is actually genuine?

  3. As much as “pay drivers” annoy me, surely Manor can’t turn this down, it’s probably a sixth of their (supposed) annual budget!

    1. Half a years engines?

      But maybe Maldonado can give them a whole years engines.

      1. Maybe Wherlein gets them a 50% discount. It would be a dream to have 30 million on 2 drivers, that’s a third of their budget, that said, where would they get the other 2/3? Sponsorship is included on these deals, so shady deals? People say F1 lost the tobacco money and went in recession. It was the tightening of the EU reforms that made Motorsport lose the ability to attract so much investment. Remember how many team owners got caught laundering money. It was great for motorsport as the team owners would always put lots of money in the sport. Lately no one can live long doing it, this season the owner of the newish motogp team forward racing was promptly caught evading the law.

        1. The could surely make room for other sponsors if necessary. And I’m not sure what their prize money was this year. Potentially both drivers would have additional personal sponsors in addition to the main Merc/Indo deals. Beyond that I’ve no idea.

    2. michael schumacher ring a bell ?

    3. I don’t know if that’s his total sponsorship, or he’s still bringing more money from the state oil company Pertamina, which previously sponsored him.

      That being said, I’d rather have other drivers in that seat. As an Indonesian I’m now resigned to just hoping we get our money’s worth from the ad space…

      Will be paying more attention to FE where Frijns is driving brilliantly

  4. ……I’d hope for Manor not to take it if it weren’t 1998 yet but since we’re well past that….well I guess Manor can take the deal if they want to.

  5. What is quite odd in my opinion is that the government makes this an open letter. Trying to force Manor to accept?
    How good is this guy? I honestly don’t know. And you know that in F1, sometimes champions of other categories struggle (Maldo), while non-champions sometimes do a decent job.

    1. @omarr-pepper Haryanto was at best an OK GP2 driver.

      1. @xtwl He’s not the best, but he did beat Alex Rossi in the same car, and we know Rossi did a solid job in his five races this season, so you never know I guess.

      2. @xtwl How does scoring three wins and finishing fourth only makes him at best an OK driver?

        1. “Haryanto, who ended his fourth season of GP2 this year in fourth place …”

        2. @mijail three wins… in sprint races. Doesn’t mean much to me. Still ok, but not much.

        3. @mijail Vandoorne, Verstappen, etc……

      3. I’ll bet he can beat Stevens…

        1. @satchelcharge you’d be wise not to place that bet. Stevens certainly didn’t need 4 seasons to break into the top 10 in a top flight feeder series.

      4. @xtw More convincing that either Stevens or Chilton.

    2. Transparency? At least if Rio doesn’t get the drive, we know that either Manor’s got rather a lot of money from somewhere else or that the winning drivers bid an impressive amount of money. I remember when €10 m would have bought an F1 seat…

      * – Back in ye olde 2006. Inflation sure kicks hard!

  6. F1 needs to realize that this sort of thing damages the brand and taints the sport.

    To be a credible sport worth watching demands that the best talent get their chances.

    Plus, when a backmarker team does this, it removes a big part of their justification to exist. Small teams are where promising talent can get their start, but if the space is taken by pay drivers then why should anyone be a fan?

    Fans should actively campaign against this behavior.

    1. And thanks to the way money is distributed in F1 and the amount it costs to compete, if you get rid of pay drivers, Manor collapses, and Sauber would follow soon after. Lotus would go too, if it wasn’t for Renault.

    2. @tigen I think that you are getting ahead of yourself. Neither Manor nor “F1” has done anything yet. Maybe Manor would like to take the driver and money but as things stand all that has happened is that the money has been offered. He doesn’t have the points for a Superlicence and I can’t see a case for him getting one which would indicate that F1’s rules are doing exactly what you suggest (up until this year there would have been no issue in Manor snapping him up).

      If the FIA uses a vague loophole to give him a licence then in one move they will have destroyed the credibility of the new system at the first opportunity. I really can’t see them doing that in this case, if they do then you might actually have a point.

    3. @tigen Backmarker teams have always done this. And even if fans were to campaign against this kind of thing, would it make an impact on their finances anywhere close to the €15m they’d get for Haryanto? It’d be much more effective to campaign against the unfair money distribution system, but there’s not much chance of getting that changed…

  7. I wonder how much Rossi brings to the table? Haryanto could well have bumped him from the queue.

  8. I think Haryanto will prove himself better than most think if he gets the seat. I am unsure if he even caused a crash during the whole of 2015 GP2 season. I watch all the GP2 races and after he scored three wins during the series. I think we should give him a go

    1. Watched them all too. But he’s clearly a guy I’d like to see in a F1. He was average, despite one or two exciting moves. The Campos car didn’t help, but he’s on his fourth year. And all his victories were due to the reversed grid system in sprint races. Worth to note he crushed his teammate Pic though.

      1. clearly not a guy I’d like to see in a F1.

    2. @lolzerbob three sprint race wins. Feature race wins are far more impressive as they tend to be won by drivers that actually qualified well. Whereas sprint races basically reward drivers for being decidedly mediocre in the feature race.

      He didn’t crash? That’s nice. Meanwhile the guy needed a fourth season to finish in the top 10 of the standings and never won a feature race.

      No, he should not be given a go. But he probably will. Sad.

  9. At this stage I guess it doesn’t really matter how good he is. They just need a bum in the seat to trundle round somewhere in 11th to 22nd place without smashing up too many bits of carbon like a certain other state sponsored driver.

    They only need one relatively respectable driver to be there to pick up whatever places may be handed to them from other teams attrition.

  10. Career Summary:

    2008 – Formula Asia: 3rd
    2009 – Formula BMW Pacific: 1st
    2010 – GP3 Series: 5th (with Manor, and as Formula 1 test driver for Marussia Virgin Racing)
    2011 – GP3 Series: 7th (with Manor)
    Auto GP: 7th
    2012 – GP2 Series: 14th
    2013 – GP2 Series: 19th
    2014 – GP2 Series: 15th
    2015 – GP2 Series: 4th

    1. It says it all.

      1. Not bad but not great

        1. I agree, but it is worth pointing out that he is still only 22 and he made the step up to GP2 at 18. I know this seems really old compared to Verstappen, but Vandoorne and Rossi are both older than him at 23 and 24, respectively.

          1. So one year ago Vandoorne was as old as Haryanto now and came in second in GP2, and took more poles and wins than Haryanto has in four years.

          2. @blockwall2 He’s only 22? He was fairly young when he placed well in Formula BMW but having been stuck a bit at GP2 I thought he must be a bit older than that……

        2. the cars are also not great. addax, caterham, campos. not great.

      2. JB won formula ford, and was 3rd on british F3, he got a shot at F1 really quickly. Haryanto on the other hand got lots more time to actually not shine at all, that said to be, he’s okay if you analyse the last 6 seasons of rookies.

  11. If there was going to be a country where Hugo Chavez’s approach to sporting policy wasn’t going to catch on, it probably would have been Indonesia. That said, if we are to the believe the US’ Agency for International Development Indonesia is now a “comprehensively functional democracy” – albeit they may be the same people that use bottles of tip-ex on words like “Suharto” and “PKI” in Indonesian textbooks.

    1. The corruption is very high and the politicians didn’t have sense of shame.. (Trump anyone..?)

      1. @ernietheracefan Every time Trump[et trousers] opens his mouth, John Stuart Mill’s ghost cries…

    2. @william-brierty Been watching a bit about 1965 it seems (and not the of the kind that features 5 minutes of smoking….).

  12. I’m Indonesian and I don’t agree with this.
    Rio should focus to increasing his superlicense point & driving in other races which is more feasible (GT, LMP, or even FE).

  13. We all know this kind of stuff goes on but there’s something oddly distasteful I find in the sheer blatantness of this.

    On the other hand, we (and everyone else) has now got a reasonable idea of the going rate…

    1. Yes, same rate Chilton and probably Stevens paid (maybe a bit less for Stevens). Only difference to those two is that their funding was private/sponsors.

  14. Well… Where is Dutch ministry of sport with 10.9M offer?

    Then again Manor F1 seat is bearly an F1.

  15. They are obviously quite proud of being able to put this package together for Haryanto. I hope the Venezuelan government doesnt tweet their sponsorship offer to Renault for Pastor’s seat…it’ll break their heart!

  16. The last time i remember an involvement from a government was for Kubica.

    1. Maldonado.

  17. Manor should hold out for more.

  18. I don’t mind goverments supporting a young driver. F1 is expensive and you need the money to make it, or some proper ability on and off the track, not just to get to F1 but also to support their careers.

    But surely they could’ve invested in him before instead of dragging him, with virtually no credentials whatsoever, to the sport…

    1. As expected from my own goverment.

    2. @fer-no65 But Rio’s half-decent with a wee bit of credentials……

      I’d be a bit mad had the Indonesian government put money behind (the to be fair younger) Sean Gelael……that’d be my idea of credentiallessness (is that a word?).

  19. “Ferrari offers Mercedes 20mm for Maldonado seat”

    1. That made my laugh! @chaddy

  20. If the FIA want GP2 to be the stepping stone to F1 they need to ensure that the champion gets the first seat going to a GP2 driver. As sponsor dollars is usually the deciding factor, the policy should be that they will match any reasonable and legitimate offer on behalf of the champion.

    1. …but the problem then is you’re asking for backroom dealings that will artificially drive up the value of driver X using money that may not exist because it’s designed to trigger a clause that means someone else has to foot the bill for driver Y.

      Not going to happen…

  21. To be honest there is still a lot of things to fix in Indonesia and that amount of money is too high imo.

  22. He’ll do OK. Not like the car is capable of points anyway.

    1. you never no! @david-beau
      With a Mercedes Engine in the Back! Who knows what will happen?
      They may score a few points here and their? Probably at high speed tracks like Monza, Mexico and Spa.
      ??

  23. i assume the team will be called (x) Manor-Mercedes.
    (with x being one of the Sponsors that Haryanto will bring with him.)
    with drivers being P Wehrlein (Who comes from Mercedes with a Reasonable Discount on the engines?)
    R Haryanto (Seems Talented and has alot of Backing by Indonesia)

    1. Neither Wehrlein nor Haryanto will officially be able to qualify for super licenses in 2016. As @keithcollantine mentioned earlier, there’s a chance both might scrape through on the grounds they’ve done testing, but it would be bad form if the FIA are already trying to circumvent their own rules in the first year.

  24. there’s some hype here in indonesia about him. good looking, humble, and the best driver from indonesia ever. We do hope the best from him. Even I think he will not to be the top tier driver. I’m sure he’s better than Alex Yoong.

  25. Being Indonesian, it’s kinda mixed feeling for me. No doubt Haryanto is the best driver we ever had. Hence the government support. We haven’t given another person this huge amount of support. People will say that that amount of money will do better elsewhere maybe public service. But in reality, that number is not significant at all in terms of budget of the country. It’s also a good start of state’s company international platform, say Pertamina and Garuda. So why not? If Haryanto do get a seat and perform, his backing would be glad to step a ladder to better teams.

    For all the backlash for Haryanto junior career, please note that only Carlin and Campos provide decent car at best. He was learning and showed a glimpses of excitement in rookie year of GP2. Nearly had a win in Valencia and pole in Belgium. Addax and Caterham is not a huge help for his record. He beated Rozensweig and Alex Rossi well those years. Then the breakthrough Campos year, trashing younger Pic.

    Looking much further back, he was solid against the likes of Bottas, Evans, and Calado. Yet all his career never have a leading team i.e. DAMS or ART. Never have a proper simulation role like other reserve driver. Yet he’s there. Not at the top, but in respectable position.

    People here loved him, unlike some other pay driver who usually loathed even by his own countrymen. We do expect these reaction by western people, but we know him. A seat in F1 this year, or never at all stance, as he said, is justifiable in my opinion. If Manor decided otherwise, so be it.

    1. Well said!!

    2. @adityafakhri I’m sorry, but no, a seat for him isn’t justifiable based on past performances. It just isn’t. There’s a whole list of drivers that would deserve a seat before Haryanto does. So that’s why not.

      It’s getting increasingly frustrating to see that world class drivers (Frijns, Vandoorne, …) who have actually proven something don’t get chances in F1 and drivers with very, very mediocre results like Haryanto being bankrolled into F1. Because for all your explanations about lesser teams, that is exactly what his resume is: mediocre and not F1-worthy.

      I mean, how was he solid against Bottas? He was outscored 2 to 1 in GP3 by Bottas. He did drive for DAMS by the way, in AutoGP, came seventh in a very mediocre driver field and was beaten by two team mates.

      Support him all you want but don’t big up his junior career into something it’s not.

      1. @MattDS, I do understand where that’s coming from. Yes it is frustating to have the likes of Vandoorne and Frijns not on the grid, but it’s a seat for pay driver in lesser team. Not even in the middle of the grid. I’m not gonna say he’s better than them, that’d be rubbish talk. But again the ideal of F1 is long behind us (and I’m sort of given up on it). But it is different perspective altogether.

        While I’m heavily biased on this subject, ruling him out entirely of the consideration is perplexing. Of three driver Manor had this year, can he do better? I’ll say so. It is not justifiable argument for Manor to have him, but justifiable stance of him for his own career. He throwed all the cards he has now, all or nothing. If that’s not enough, we’ll see another driver get the seat.

        1. @adityafakhri don’t get me wrong – I understand how F1 works these days (well, pay drivers have always been there, to be honest). And I understand him giving it everything he’s got to get into F1, that he is trying to realize his dream, and I respect that. I don’t have anything against him, more power to him if he can actually get into F1 and make it happen.

          The only thing I’m opposing a bit here, is that some are trying to spin his career into something it is not – i.e. a junior career that is deserving of an F1 drive on merit and has only been hampered by not being in the best teams. I just can’t agree with that.

      2. is manor even f1 worthy? you want best driver to drive crappy car like manor? hahaha

  26. Thing they should consoder, difference between 11th and 10th place in WCC is 20-30M£ drivers like Voodorne or someone staggeringly fast is worth to them. So they need atleast one Joules Bianchi who will get them championship points.

    1. Not intending to speak ill of Bianchi (he was a darn good driver and his passing is a loss to the sport as a whole), but you have to remember he got those points in part through some good fortune.

  27. Aren’t the roots of this sport based on the wealthy playing with cars? He’ll fit right in.

  28. As Indonesian i wish him to get the seat and prove himself, at least I can brag that he trashing three of his teammates in GP2.
    So far he the best racing Driver we ever have, I doubt will see someone like him again in my lifetime which make me even want to see him racing in formula 1.
    I am sure He got superlicense back in 2012 from after season testing not sure if that still eligible but he tested again after the abu dhabi Grand prix will that prolong the license ?

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