Rio Haryanto's deal to race with Manor in 2016 is done, and will be announced officially in Indonesia later on Thursday. Indonesian media are reporting that a press conference featuring the 23-year-old GP2 driver and Dwi Soetjipto, the president of the state-owned oil company Pertamina, will take place at 15.30 local time in Jakarta.
A source close to Pertamina said: "It has been our priority to release the funds to help Rio Haryanto." Reports in Britain on Wednesday revealed that Haryanto, who has been in GP2 since 2012 with a career-high of fourth overall last year, will replace Will Stevens to complete the 2016 grid alongside new teammate Pascal Wehrlein.
Sources close to Haryanto's management suggested the news emerged after a downpayment of EUR 5 million was processed this week. A spokesman for Pertamina confirmed that the company is supporting Haryanto financially. "Essentially, we will do what we promised earlier," he said.
It is believed reports that Manor could split Haryanto's cockpit a further two ways, with Stevens and Alexander Rossi to share racing duties in 2016, were wide of the mark. But just last Friday, even Haryanto had admitted it was a possibility. "It has happened before this way," he said, "but hopefully we can do the full season which will increase the chances of getting offers from other teams (in the future)." (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing