Rio Haryanto will become Indonesia’s first Formula One driver after signing a deal with Manor Racing.
The 23-year-old will make his F1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix on 20 March after testing in Barcelona next week. Haryanto replaced the Briton Will Stevens, who failed to score a point in 18 starts last year.
“Manor Racing is a team with an exciting vision and ambitious plans,” Haryanto said. “They have produced a great package and I can’t wait to get in the car. Melbourne will be a huge moment for me, my country, supporters and fans and I want to thank everyone who’s been with me since I started in single seaters; 2016 is my chance to reward that faith and represent Asia in F1.”
Haryanto will join the German rookie Pascal Wehrlein, a former Mercedes reserve driver, at Manor.
“We are delighted to announce Rio as our second race driver for 2016,” said Stephen Fitzpatrick, Manor Racing’s owner. “Rio’s been racing since he first got into a kart at six years old. He’s tenacious on and off the track and made a big impression on last year’s GP2 battle.
“Rio’s huge following in Indonesia is great for the team and for F1. They are keen to see him on the grid and we’re confident that we’ll see him enjoying some exciting battles in the year ahead.”