Rio Haryanto – Indonesia’s First Formula One Racer
At one time or another, many of us have thought about how wonderful it would be to be a race car driver. Have you? Indonesian Rio Haryanto lived his dream of being a Formula One race car driver – even if only for a short while.
Indonesia doesn’t spring to mind when you think about Formula One drivers, and the name Rio Haryanto isn’t well known. But he became Indonesia’s first Formula One race car driver in 2016 when he signed with UK-based team Manor.
Unfortunately for Haryanto, he suffered several problems during his debut race and had to leave it after the 18th lap. Manor subsequently demoted him to reserve driver in August 2016 and has run out of sponsorship money.
Haryanto had been supported by the Indonesian government and the state-owned oil company Pertamina for the first half of the season. Once that funding ended, Haryanto was unable to find more funds from sponsors and had to give up the rest of the season.
Twenty-three-year-old Haryanto’s father and two brothers have been involved in racing. He has racing in his blood and can’t imagine any other kind of life.
Haryanto is a hero in Indonesia and he has brought attention to race car driving to people in Indonesia who now see world class race car driving as a possibility for Indonesians.
Here’s wishing him luck to be able to find the needed support to continue with his love – race car driving.