Rio Haryanto ended the qualifying session for the European Grand Prix in Baku in seventeenth place on Saturday, the Indonesians highest grid position so far this season, not only beating much fancied team-mate Pascal Wehrlein, but also only missing out on making it through to Q2 by just one tenth of a second.
It was a fantastic effort from Haryanto, who has been regularly berated for only being a “pay driver”, and the Indonesian was very pleased with the result.
“It was a good lap for me today so I’m really pleased. We made some changes on the car for FP3, which worked well. We were also very close to Q2 but unfortunately I only managed one timed lap on the second set of tyres and when I tried to go again there was a yellow flag.”
With everybody on a more even par here in Azerbaijan, with no driver having raced around the Baku City Circuit before this weekend, it gives Haryanto and the Manor Racing Team a chance to take advantage of any mistakes made by the other teams, and the Indonesian is ready to capitalise on any chances that come his way.
“We need to be very focused now for tomorrow; although the GP2 race showed that anything is possible, we have to make sure we have a good start and a strong, clean race without any mistakes if we’re to take advantage of opportunities.
“We will try our best and hope everything goes our way but for now this is a nice moment to enjoy.”