Manor Racing has announced its driver lineup for the second season of the GP3 Series, with Rio Haryanto and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs being joined at the team by series newcomer Matias Laine.
The British team will receive title sponsorship from Russian sports car firm Marussia this season, just like the Virgin Racing Formula 1 team which was born out of the Manor operation.
Indonesian Haryanto, 18, finished fifth in the standings last season with Manor, winning one race at Istanbul. His performances during the season gave him the chance to test the Virgin Racing F1 car at the end of the season. This year Haryanto is looking to progress further.
“I am very happy to be rejoining the Marussia Manor Racing team in GP3 this year,” said Haryanto. “Last year was a fantastic learning year for me and I built up a good relationship with the team, so it made sense to continue with the programme. It is going to be a tough season and I believe GP3 will be even more competitive than last year, but I'm ready for the challenge. I am lucky that my sponsors in Indonesia – Pertamina, Telcomsel, Garuda Indonesia and Kiky – will also continue supporting me.”
British racer Quaife-Hobbs, 20, also raced for Manor in 2010, ending up 15th in the final standings with one podium finish. He believes that sticking with Manor will allow him to enjoy a more successful year in 2011.
“It's great to be back with the team for a second year,” said Quaife-Hobbs. “We've got more pre-season testing this year which will help to prepare me. Another advantage is that we all know each other much better now, and I'm sure it will help us a great deal. This puts us in a stronger position compared to last season. I think we have a good opportunity to fight at the front. Our pace was strong last year and I'm sure we are capable of carrying it into the new season.”
Finnish driver Laine, who will turn 21 before the season's first race in May, joins the GP3 Series after racing in the Formula 3 Euro Series in 2010. He replaces James Jakes in the team's lineup, after the British driver graduated to GP2. Laine is pleased to be joining Manor for his rookie season in GP3.
“I am very happy to join the GP3 Series this season and I know Marussia Manor Racing is the best place for me to fight for top positions,” explained Laine. “I am more than ready for this new season. It's going to be a challenging year, but I can't wait to get in the car.”
Team Principal John Booth commented: “It's going to be another interesting season in GP3. 2011 looks promising and I'm sure we can be up there with the top teams. Both Rio and Adrian did a fantastic job last year, and I'm sure they are ready to reveal more of their potential. I would also like to welcome Matias to the team and wish the three of them a successful season. I have no doubt they will do a great job.”