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F1 Bahrain GP: Haryanto: Expectation a motivation, not pressure

Manor's Rio Haryanto arrives in F1 with heightened expectations from his home nation, but he is using it as a motivation, rather than pressure.
Rio Haryanto is confident the great expectations from his native Indonesia as the Asian country's first driver to compete in Formula 1 will spur him on rather than level additional pressure at him.

A race winner in GP3 and GP2, Haryanto has stepped up to F1 this season with the Manor Racing team alongside DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein, making his debut earlier this month in Australia, though he failed to finish due to mechanical issues.

One of three rookies on the F1 grid this year, Haryanto brings with him a huge new interest from Indonesia, one of the world's most populous nations that features a particularly active drive on social media.

It is a profile that is rumoured to have garnered him the most votes in the post Melbourne 'Driver of the Day' public poll, despite his early exit, even if the award was eventually given to Haas driver Romain Grosjean.

Regardless, Haryanto says the support from home has been an extraordinary motivation, adding that he doesn't see it as pressure.

“It feels great,” he said. “It has been a long journey to get here and it is a proud moment not just for me but also for Indonesia to be able to compete in such a high level of motorsport as Formula 1.

“Everyone is proud and I am really thankful to have so much support from Indonesia. I don't think it be a pressure, but it will be a big motivation for me.

“I would like to say thank you for the support, it has been great. They have been following since my career started in karting, then single-seater, GP3, GP2 and now F1. They have been really loyal and it is just a great thing to have.”

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