Rio Haryanto: Indonesia’s First F1 Driver

2016 is set to be a historic season in Formula One with the sport seeing the first Indonesian driver, Rio Haryanto, competing in the series.

After much debate as to who would claim the two Manor Racing seats, they have eventually been filled by Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto. Wehrlein is backed by Mercedes and is the reigning DTM champion, Haryanto however enters the sport probably seen by most as another pay driver taking a seat that could have gone to a more talented driver, such as Stoffel Vandoorne, for example.

GP2 – Caterham – Rio Haryanto” by Jake Archibald is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Yet, many would be mistaken into thinking that Haryanto is just another pay driver.He had a breakthrough year in GP2 last season, finishing fourth in the championship having claimed three wins and a further eleven points scoring finishes.

That is an achievement worth recognising in a series that had Red Bull, Honda, Williams, Ferrari and McLaren backed drivers, of which the majority Haryanto outscored throughout the season.

It will be very interesting to see how the intra-team battle between Haryanto and Wehrlein plays out in 2016 with many probably expecting Wehrlein to dominate Haryanto throughout the season. I wouldn’t be so sure however and wouldn’t be too surprised if the Indonesian beat Wehrlein come the end of the season.

Rio Haryanto
GP2 – Caterham – Rio Haryanto” by Jake Archibald is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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