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F1 Belgian GP: Haryanto demotion ‘disappoints’ Indonesian government

The Indonesian government expresses disappointment that Manor Racing could not offer an extended stay for Rio Haryanto as Pertamina removes logos.
The Indonesian government has said it is 'disappointed' with the decision by Manor Racing to drop Rio Haryanto from its race driver line-up for the remainder of the 2016 Formula 1 season.

The 23 year-old stepped up to F1 from GP2 this year with the British outfit, in doing so becoming the first Indonesian driver to start a grand prix, but was unable to raise funds to take him beyond his original agreement of 11 races.

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With Haryanto's place in the team made possible by funding from state-owned petroleum company Pertamina, it was hoped he could generate enough sponsorship during the first-half of the year to complete the season without needing to call upon state budget again.

However, this was not possible, with Haryanto relegated to a reserve driver role and Esteban Ocon being handed his place alongside Pascal Wehrlein, much to the government's disappointment.

"The Sports Ministry is disappointed with the decision, as Manor's racing director Dave Ryan in February promised Rio Haryanto would race a full season in F1,” said government spokesperson Gatot Dewa Broto. “Moreover, Manor's team director Abdulla Boulsien in June said Rio is part of the team's long term plan for at least two years.

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"We understand the situation in which Manor asked Rio and his management to pay the remaining fees before the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 24 and it turned out that Manor gave another chance for Rio to race until German Grand Prix. Sports Ministry appreciates that."

"We asked to use state budget to finance Rio, but it wasn't allowed by the lawmakers. The parliament fully supports Rio's involvement in F1 but using the state budget is not the option."

As a result of the driver shuffle, Pertamina has declined Manor's offer of retaining an advertising presence on the car, according to the Jakarta Post.

Haryanto is believed to have fallen 7.5 million euros short of the funding required to retain his drive. Pertamina reportedly stumped up 5 million euros to secure the drive for the first half of the season.

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Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
29.07.2016 - Free Practice 1, Rio Haryanto (IDN) Manor Racing MRT05
29.07.2016 - Free Practice 1, Rio Haryanto (IDN) Manor Racing MRT05
28.07.2016 - (L-R) Rio Haryanto (IDN) Manor Racing MRT05, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
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