Indonesian GP2 driver Rio Haryanto does not yet have his F1 race debut for 2016 in the bag. Earlier, it was reported that the Indonesian government would put up the EUR 15 million demanded by British backmarker Manor for a place at the newly Mercedes-powered team.
But the Jakarta Post claims that only Pertamina, the state-owned oil company, is definitely pledging EUR 5m for Haryanto, with the 22-year-old still needing the raise the additional 10m. "I have checked the regulations from the development finance comptroller and the city budget cannot be used for commercial purposes like formula one," said Jakarta governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama. "We can't support professional athletes," he added.
So it now emerges that sports minister Imam Nahrawi is lobbying his government enterprises counterpart Rini Soemarno as well as businesspeople in an effort to raise the rest of Haryanto's funding. "I need to find a perfect formula for Rio's financial support to meet Manor team's requirements," Imam said. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing