Rio Haryanto's plans to return to F1 have been dealt a hefty blow after state-owned energy company Pertamina announced it would be dropping its sponsorship.
Haryanto became the first Indonesian driver in F1 history last year when he joined Manor alongside Pascal Wehrlein but replaced by Esteban Ocon after 12 races when his sponsorship fell through.
The 23-year-old stated he will look to return to the sport in 2017 with possible options at Sauber or a comeback at Manor – who are currently in takeover talks – but his hopes have taken a hit by the loss of Pertamina as backers.
"This year there will not be a continuation of participation by Pertamina in F1," a spokesperson told Reuters
. "Of course we regret this very much, but we have already made maximal efforts for Rio and Indonesia.”
Haryanto will look for new sponsors to cover the reported £4.23M funding gap which Pertamina stacked up as part of the Indonesian driver's deal with Manor in 2016.
Sauber is likely to confirm Mercedes-backed Pascal Wehrlein alongside the already-announced Marcus Ericsson having been overlooked in favour of Valtteri Bottas as Nico Rosberg's replacement at Mercedes for 2017.
Felipe Massa is believed to make a U-turn on his decision to retire from F1 and return to the Williams fold with Bottas switching to Mercedes.
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