Rio Haryanto: “I am still here learning”


Rio Haryanto admits the move up from the GP2 Series into Formula 1 has been a huge one for him after experiencing two days of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya last week with Manor Racing.

The Indonesian racer will race alongside Pascal Wehrlein in the Banbury-based team in 2016, but had a couple of spins while attempting to find the limit, both at turn four, the second of which saw the rear wing damaged that ended his test prematurely.

Ahead of next months Australian Grand Prix, Haryanto knows he will have to get comfortable behind the wheel of the MRT05 in the final two days of testing at the same circuit.

“I am still here learning and there are still two more days for testing, so I will try to do my best to learn as much as I can before the first GP,” said Haryanto on Crash.net. “I am getting more confident with the team and the relationship with the engineers and, hopefully, I’ll feel comfortable by the end of the second test.

“I was still learning and I already felt a step better in the relationship with the team. Day by day, I will get used to it, but it is interesting coming from GP2 to F1.

“It is a huge difference. In GP2, you only work with two engineers but, in F1, you work with 30 or 40! A lot of people involved and procedures to follow, so it is a big change but, by time, I will get used to it.”

Haryanto admits that he wants to improve every time he gets out on track, and is aiming to get the most out of his car, but knows he will have to cut out the mistakes.

“Every time we go out, there have always been some set-up changes and I want to improve myself,” said Haryanto. “I am pushing hard to get the maximum out of me and the car and we see I make a mistake. I have to learn from that and not repeat again.”

As the only driver to have driven both the 2015 and 2016 Manor cars, having tested with the team in the Abu Dhabi Pirelli tyre test at the end of last season, the team have been looking at Haryanto for feedback, with the twenty-three-year-old saying the MRT05 is a huge improvement on its predecessor the MR03B.

“We have a new car, a new development and all I can say is the difference between the old car – because I tested it – compared to this one are huge steps of development and performance,” said Haryanto.

“I am learning from my side and, from the team, we try to build as much of a relationship before the first GP. I think that is the key to get our target.”