Manor rope in racer Rio Haryanto for 2016 F1 season

Banbury, Feb 18 (IANS) Manor racing team have chosen Indonesian racer Rio Haryanto as its second driver for the 2016 Formula One (F1) season here on Thursday.

The 23-year-old’s F1 debut follows success in junior formulae since single-seater racing in 2008. He impressed in each of his three F1 tests and graduates from a robust 2015 season in GP2 Series.

Haryanto will be climbing into the Manor Racing MRT05 cockpit for testing in Barcelona next week, with his first Grand Prix next month in Australia.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, Manor Racing’s owner said he was delighted with Haryanto’s signing.

“We are delighted to announce Rio as our second race driver for 2016. Rio’s been racing since he first got into a kart at six years old. He’s tenacious on and off the track and made a big impression on last year’s GP2 battle,” Fitzpatrick was quoted as saying by the Manor racing website on Thursday.

“Rio’s huge following in Indonesia is great for the team and for F1. They are keen to see him on the grid and we’re confident that we’ll see him enjoying some exciting battles in the year ahead.”

Haryanto thanked his fans and supporters and said he is looking forward to the opportunity.

“Manor Racing is a team with an exciting vision and ambitious plans. They have produced a great package and I can’t wait to get in the car. Melbourne will be a huge moment for me, my country, supporters and fans and I want to thank everyone who’s been with me since I started in single seaters; 2016 is my chance to reward that faith and represent Asia in F1.”

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