That’s it. The 2016 driver lineup is complete. Manor Racing have signed Indonesian Rio Haryanto who has long been linked to the team from his GP2 and GP3 days. The Indonesian driver finished 4th in the GP2 series for Campos Racing last year.
As one would expect, Haryanto is said to bring a significant financial backing from the state and will join Pascal Wehrlein to complete Manor’s lineup.
Rio Haryanto said:
“Manor Racing is a team with an exciting vision and ambitious plans,” said Haryanto
“They have produced a great package and I can’t wait to get in the car.
“Melbourne will be a huge moment for me, my country, supporters and fans.
“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.”
Manor Racing owner Stephen Fitzpatrick said:
“We are delighted to announce Rio as our second race driver for 2016.
“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 F1.
“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.”
He may have a huge following in Indonesia but I wonder what kind of impact his inclusion will have on the fans in that part of the world for Formula 1?
On a biased front, many American F1 fans were really hoping Alexander Rossi would have made the cut at Manor having done a great job of it last year but equally many British fans may have been slightly gutted to hear that Will Stevens lost the seat to Haryanto. Money speaks loudly in F1 driver opportunities…perhaps too loudly these days.
2016 F1 DRIVER LINE-UP
Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg
Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen
Williams-Mercedes: Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Massa
Red Bull-TAG (Renault): Daniil Kvyat, Daniel Ricciardo
Force India-Mercedes: Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg
Renault: Kevin Magnussen, Jolyon Palmer
Toro Rosso-Ferrari: Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz Jr
Sauber-Ferrari: Felipe Nasr, Marcus Ericsson
McLaren-Honda: Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button
Manor-Mercedes: Pascal Wehrlein, Rio Haryanto
Haas-Ferrari: Romain Grosjean, Esteban Gutierrez