Haryanto loses main sponsor but hopes remain of F1 return

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Rio Haryanto could still be a part of Formula 1, despite losing his financial backing from Pertamina.

On Tuesday, it was announced that the sponsorship would end with the Indonesian state-owned oil corporation. Haryanto was signed by Manor Racing MRT for the 2016 F1 season, marking his first season, along with becoming the first Indonesian F1 driver. He completed the first twelve Grand Prix with the Banbury based outfit but after failing to meet his contractual obligations, was replaced by Esteban Ocon.

Out of the eleven teams on the 2017 grid, only Manor and Sauber F1 Team are options for Haryanto. But with rumours surfacing that Pascal Wehrlein will join Sauber, the only option to return to the championship will be with his former team.  Haryanto’s management are trying to work on a plan that will see him retain a role.

“We are still working on a plan to keep Rio in Formula 1,” Piers Hunnisett, Haryanto’s manager, told Reuters. “People in the Formula 1 world felt he did a good job and he deserves to be there.

“Obviously, we were hoping to move into a team like Sauber – that was the plan but things are going to slow down a little bit.”