The Manor Racing Formula One Team confirmed on Thursday that they have signed GP2 driver Rio Haryanto for the 2016 Formula One season.
The Indonesian driver joins fellow Formula One rookie Pascal Wehrlein at the Mercedes powered outfit and speaking about his appointment the 23 year old who brings sponsorship to the team in the form of the state owned oil and natural gas company Pertamina commented by saying:
Manor Racing is a team with an exciting vision and ambitious plans, They have produced a great package and I can’t wait to get in the car. Melbourne (the season opener) will be a huge moment for me, my country, supporters and fans and 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 Formula 1.
Haryanto’s arrival in Formula One means that their will be three rookies on the grid in Melbourne as he joins his team mate Pascal Wehrlein and the Renault Formula One Team’s Jolyon Palmer in making their F1 debut’s this season.
Speaking about the arrival of Haryanto, Manor Racing owner Stephen Fitzpatrick commented by saying:
Rio’s been racing since he first got into a kart at six years old. He’s tenacious on and off the track and made a big impression on last year’s GP2 battle. Rio’s huge following in Indonesia is great for the team and for Formula 1. 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.
Haryanto will drive the car full time despite rumors that he and former Manor drivers Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi would share the seat over the course of the season.
The Indonesian will get his first taste of Formula One when he tests for the team in Barcelona next week.