Rio Haryanto has taken the final place on the 2016 F1 grid at Manor and will become Indonesia’s first F1 driver when he makes his race debut next month.
Haryanto, who has raced in GP2 for the past four seasons, joins Pascal Wehrlein in an all-rookie pairing at the team. In December last year the Indonesian government revealed it had offered Manor £10 million to place Haryanto in the team.
“Melbourne will be a huge moment for me, my country, supporters and fans,” said Haryanto, who will make his first F1 start in Australia. “I want to thank everyone who’s been with me since I started in single seaters – 2016 is my chance to reward that faith and represent Asia in F1.”
“Rio’s huge following in Indonesia is great for the team and for F1,” said Manor owner Stephen Fitzpatrick. “They are keen to see him on the grid and we’re confident that we’ll see him enjoying some exciting battles in the year ahead.”
More on Rio Haryanto
The 23-year-old finished fourth in the standings last year behind Stoffel Vandoorne, Alexander Rossi and Sergey Sirotkin. He won three times, each victory coming in a sprint race which features a partially-reversed grid.
Like Wehrlein he has less than the 40 F1 superlicence points required by the FIA to compete in F1 but will be eligible for a superlicence as he has previously held one.
Last year Manor began the season with two drivers who had started just one race between them. Haryanto’s confirmation leaves the three drivers who raced for them over the course of last year – Will Stevens, Roberto Merhi and Alexander Rossi – without race seats.
Manor has confirmed Haryanto will race as number 88.
2016 F1 season
- Are tickets too dear? Crowds fell at some tracks in 2016
- F1’s TV audience decline stopped in 2016
- Brawn among key F1 hires announced by Liberty
- Has F1 hit ‘peak penalties’? Fewer sanctions in 2016
- Brundle reveals Monaco GP heart attack