Rio Haryanto: “Everything feels very real and exciting”

Formula 1’s first Indonesian driver Rio Haryanto completed his first day of testing for the Manor Racing team, completing 78 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday.

After taking over from Pascal Wehrlein for day three of the first pre-season test, Haryanto felt emotional to get his first taste of the MRT05 ahead of his planned race debut in the Australian Grand Prix next month.

Despite a spin at turn five during the morning session that resulted in a red flag and finishing bottom of the timing screens, Haryanto felt he made good progress throughout the day and cannot wait to return to the car for day four on Thursday.

“This has been an incredible day – for me and my country,” said Haryanto. “Of course I’ve tested a Formula 1 car previously, but never before with the knowledge that I am guaranteed to race it as well.

“Everything feels very real and exciting finally. We’re now on the fast track to Melbourne and my first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix, which is such an incredible and emotional feeling for me.

“Inside the car there was a lot of work to focus on, picking up the programme from the past two days and trying lots of things to get me used to the car’s behaviour with different set-ups. It felt really good and we made a lot of progress with evaluations and gathering data. I can’t wait to be back on track tomorrow.”