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Gov't promises Manor EUR15m for Haryanto seat

  • Published on 14 Dec 2015 08:20
  • comments 4
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Rio Haryanto, a 22-year-old who finished this year's GP2 championship in fourth place, appears to have leapt into pole position to race for the F1 team Manor in 2015. Various Indonesian sources, including Sindo News, Sidomi News and CNN Indonesia, claim Indonesia's sports minister Imam Nahrawi has promised the British backmarker team EUR 15 million in exchange for a race seat for Haryanto.

The promise has even emerged in the form of a letter of guarantee to Manor owner Stephen Fitzpatrick. Before the letter emerged, minister Nahrawi met with Haryanto and his parents at his Jakarta office, CNN Indonesia claims. "It would be great for Indonesia," Haryanto's manager Piers Hunnisett said. "Now we will work hard and hopefully Rio really can race in F1 next year."

Haryanto drove for Manor in the post-season F1 test in Abu Dhabi recently. "After a very competitive season in GP2, I can't wait to show how much I have developed to become a more complete driver," he said at the time. Will Stevens, Roberto Merhi and Alexander Rossi raced for the former Marussia team in 2015, while Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein has been linked with a seat for 2016. (GMM)

Replies (4)

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  • To think that he get a seat when e.g Vandoorne and Magnussen for sure wont and Wehrlein isnt guaranteed one is a bit strong. Even now, Jolyon Palmer, another series champion, might not actually get the seat he's been promised should Renault deem him as unfitting. In any case, a smart move for Manor would be to pick one driver with F1 experience to help develop their car, because as of now they've lacked any driver with enough experience to give their engineers any decent feedback.

    • + 0
    • Dec 14 2015 - 15:55
    • khasmir

      Posts: 893

      True, but you can't just pick your drivers ;)
      What Manor needs is an experienced driver who is maybe towards the end of his career but still wants to make a difference. Maybe he will not bring a lot of cash, maybe you will have to actually pay him but the experience he could bring is priceless.

      • + 0
      • Dec 14 2015 - 18:53
    • And I can imagine that it'd be a bonus if said driver had ties with Mercedes. There are a few drivers who fit that bill, but one I could think of is Susie Wolff: while she hasnt actually raced in F1, she has been driving F1 cars and helped Williams a lot in developing their's (they've been very happy with her input according to Bottas). She is older than the average age, so she'd likely not race for many years, and I am pretty sure she'd come with some decent scottish backing. Its a bit of a longshot, indeed, and she's just announced that she'll retire, but Im sure an actual seat could convince her to return, if only for one year. Its probably just wishthinking on my part though.

      • + 0
      • Dec 14 2015 - 22:08
  • khasmir

    Posts: 893

    "a 22-year-old who finished this year's GP2 championship in fourth place"
    Not a bad result but there are bigger talents out there.
    It's clear this is another consequence of the extreme high costs in F1 today. In the past you would see more young drivers starting with smaller teams and then get noticed and picked up by the bigger teams. This has become very rare, if not non-existent, in the last couple of years unless they bring a lot of cash with them.
    Or you had more big teams with one experienced and one young driver. Look at Merc, Ferrari and McLaren now: of the 6 drivers 5 of them have won at least one championship and they all have around 10 years of F1 experience with an average age of around 30...

    • + 0
    • Dec 14 2015 - 18:48

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