Rio Haryanto’s future with the Manor Formula 1 team is in doubt, but his management is “90 percent” certain a solution can be found with the Indonesian government.
The rookie’s manager Piers Hunnisett said Haryanto’s seat was secure until F1’s summer break after the Hungarian Grand Prix, but acknowledged there had been complications with the promised funding.
“At the beginning of the year the minister for sport promised us a certain amount,” Hunnisett said. “That has been slightly delayed, or wasn’t quite as it came across.
“The government see the benefits of Formula 1 and they really want to see Rio finish the year and obviously continue in Formula 1 because it’s a huge benefit for the country.”
Asked if he expected to be in the car for the rest of the year, Haryanto replied: “To be honest, I don’t know. I hope I can be here for the full season as there are some rumors that I’m only going to do half the season. At the moment my management are working very hard to get the full season. My goal is to focus on the job at each race and to do my best and we’ll see what happens later.”
He said he was trying not to let the uncertainty impact on his driving.
“It’s important to leave that aside and just do my best to drive the car as quick as possible and to work with the team well,” Haryanto added. “That’s all that’s going on in my mind.”
Hunnisett said the level of enthusiasm in Indonesia for Haryanto’s exploits was such that he had to be confident more money would be forthcoming.
“In Indonesia, it’s huge news,” he said. “The government, the ministers, the media people have fallen in love with Formula 1. There’s a huge following. Obviously Pertamina, the state oil company, have invested quite heavily in Rio.
“I’ve just come back from Indonesia yesterday. The ministers and the government are all working very hard just to finalize the last bit of budget. I think the government were initially waiting for some other, maybe commercial, sponsorships to come through.
“It’s like all governments, if [David] Cameron [prime minister] in the UK said, ‘We’re going to spend £70 million on Formula 1 and we’re not going to bother about education or healthcare,’ there’d be a bit of an uproar. So it is a delicate situation in Indonesia, but it’s such a positive thing for the country to see a sportsman at world level. I’m very confident.”