Rio Haryanto says with the absence of an Indonesian Grand Prix on the Formula 1 calendar he adopts other races in Asia as his home events as he gears up the for Chinese Grand Prix.
The F1 rookie became the first Indonesian driver in the sport's history after securing a race seat with Manor but with no official home race he believes the support he gets from other Asian nations is equally important.
Despite his inexperience in F1, Haryanto may have been considered at a disadvantage heading to the flyaway races which don't fall into the GP2 calendar but heading to the Shanghai International Circuit he is confident it won't be a big issue having competed at the track in his Asian Formula Renault Challenge and Formula BMW Pacific days.
“It's a track I know really well, it's fun and challenging to drive so it will be nice to come back here and see how it feels in a Formula 1 car,” Haryanto said. “In the absence of an Indonesian Grand Prix – yet – the Asian races are home turf for me, so it's nice that there are so many of them."
After retiring from his F1 debut after 22 laps due to a driveshaft problem in Australia, Haryanto says he's pleased to complete a full race distance in Bahrain where he finished 17th which he hopes will boost his confidence and feeling with the Manor machine for the rest of the season.
“It's great to have a race distance under my belt [from Bahrain] and be able to start building some consistency," he said. "It feels like every area of my game has improved with each new test and race, particularly my pace relative to my team-mate and the cars around us.
“There was a lot to take away and think about after Bahrain and I'm sure we'll see more from the car and myself in China. Hopefully we will have made some further improvements with the set-up and I can feel a little more confident with the car.”