Indonesian driver Rio Haryanto looks set to continue in his Manor Racing Team seat at the German Grand Prix this weekend, after securing alternative funds to finance the race when money previously provided by state-owned oil company Pertamina, ran out.
Despite the contract Haryanto signed with the Banbury based squad being for the whole of the 2016 season, his monetary backing was only in place for the first eleven rounds, which ended at the last race in Hungary, and meant Hockenheim was never a certainty for the rookie.
With a number of drivers waiting in the wings for a chance to race at the highest level, Haryanto and his management team will now need to find a way during the upcoming summer break, of securing a deal for the remainder of the season, otherwise the 23-year-old could find himself without a drive come the end of August.
Amongst those vying to get their foot in the door at the Manor Racing Team are current reserve driver Alexander Rossi, who would be free to race full-time once the IndyCar season ends in September, former Manor F1 racer Will Stevens, who now competes in the World Endurance Championship, and McLaren-Honda driver Stoffel Vandoorne, who recent rumours touted as being in the frame to replace Haryanto following the break, although McLaren have themselves played down those claims. With all three of the aforementioned proving they have the talent to compete in F1, Haryanto will most likely need to put in one hell of a performance in Germany, to be further considered for the prized seat.
Haryanto is no stranger to the Manor Racing Team set-up, having made the step up to GP2 with the squad as Marussia-Carlin in 2012. The Indonesian was significantly outperformed by then team-mate Max Chilton, who scored 130 points more than Haryanto before being promoted to a F1 seat the following year.
Haryanto meanwhile continued in GP2 but had by now moved to the Barwa Addax Team. It was a disappointing second season in the championship for the Indonesian however, finishing nineteenth place overall with just one second place to his name. Things did not go much better in 2014 either, with Haryanto now driving for Caterham, and only able to do enough to finish the season in fourteenth place.
In 2015 however, now with Campos Racing, Haryanto started to turn his performances around, finishing the season in a strong fourth place overall, just behind Alexander Rossi. He took three wins, as well as two second places to round off a much improved year, and was also called upon to drive for Manor in the December tyre tests for Pirelli. It was perhaps these results, as well as the guaranteed finance, that prompted the Banbury based squad to take Haryanto on board in 2016.
So far in his debut season, though the Indonesian has not set the F1 world alight with his performances, he has also not fared too badly against team-mate and much fancied Mercedes AMG PETRONAS backed driver Pascal Wehrlein, nor has he particularly looked out of his depth.
But, the Indonesian has only managed to outperform the German at one race so far his year, the European Grand Prix, when Wehrlein did not finish due to brake issues. He has managed to out qualify the 2015 DTM champion on five occasion however, making the stats more or less equal on that front.
Rookie errors have played a part in Haryanto’s season so far, but it has by no means been a disastrous debut. It now leaves the Manor Racing Team to debate, if given a true choice, would the Indonesian’s name be first on their list of potential candidates, considering the wealth of other talent that is currently out there?