Tag Archives: Rio Haryanto

Formula One: The Final Seats

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As the  F1 world rapidly heads towards the winter break. The sport finds its self in a highly unusual position of having for seats still to be confirmed on the 2017 grid.

Whilst it is not out of the ordinary for seats at the lower end of the field to still be open at this point on in the year, for a seat to be open with the championship winning team is almost unimaginable. Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement from the sport has effectively stalled the driver market with no driver or team wanting to make a commitment before Mercedes conclude a deal with whoever their new driver will be.

At the time of writing favourites for the drive alongside Lewis Hamilton with the Silver Arrows in 2017 are; Valtteri Bottas, Pascal Wehrlein, and my own favourite Sergio Perez. Which ever driver is awarded the drive will have a knock on effect for the teams they are currently or likely to be driving for.

Should Mercedes manage to agree terms with Williams and they release Bottas, the team will be left with serious lack of experience in their driver line up as they head towards one of the most technically challenging regulation changes in two decades., As such working with Pascal Wehrlein who has only taken part in 21 races in unlikely to be their first choice.  More likely would be development driver Paul Di Resta taking the role or recently retired Felipe Massa or Jenson Button making an unexpected return.

In the scenario in which Mercedes take the brave move of putting Pascal Wehrlein in the second seat of the W08, Manor Racing will be left with two seats to fill. The team are likely to be secure drivers with funding, which could lead to a return of a funded Rio Haryanto to the grid. Anther option could be Felipe Nasr should, a driver Bernie Ecclestone has commented he is keen to keep on the grid to assure Brazilian interest in the Championship. Manor Racing development driver Jordan King is likely to find a role within the team. Dependant on the budget he brings this could be in the role of reserve or second driver.

Moving to Sauber, with Marcus Ericsson confirmed the rejuvenated Swiss team have one seat still to fill. 2017 will be a season of rebuilding for the team, as such their focus will be on ensuring consistency and strong feedback. In an ideal world I can imagine the team would like to work with a driver already familiar with the world of F1. Critics may dismiss this option but I would not rule out Pastor Maldonado finding a new home in Hinwil. Should the team head down the rookie route GP2 vice champion Antonio Giovinazzi would be a bold move and one demonstrating the team’s commitment to the future.

Sergio Perez moving to Mercedes would cause Sahara Force India a great deal of pain. Of course Mercedes would compensate the team, but over the past 3 seasons Force India have focused the majority of their business development efforts around building a profile in Mexico. To loose Perez would be a major blow. As such I can see them looking to replace one Mexican for another and signing Esteban Gutiérrez to the team.

One thing is for sure, the F1 silly season is far from over and it still has a few surprises in store!

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Formula One: Rio Haryanto “It was an interesting session for us”

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Temperatures tumble for Qualy creating slip-slidey conditions at the Sochi Autodrom

Sochi Autodrom

Pascal  Q1  P20  10 laps  1:39.399

Rio  Q1  P21  10 laps  1:39.463  

Rio Haryanto:

“It was an interesting session for us; it feels like we’ve made a step up and we’re closer to those around us versus previous races. My last lap could have been better. I suffered a bit with traffic and lost about two tenths in the last sector, so it was frustrating not to get a clean lap. As for tomorrow, I can’t wait. The aim is to get a good clean start, especially with such a long run down to the first corner, then get the maximum from the car. Our long runs on Friday looked positive so with good tyre management I’m looking forward to a strong race tomorrow!”

Pascal Wehrlein:

“Qualifying was a bit frustrating today. This morning the track temperature was much hotter and the sun was out, so it was easier to bring the tyres to temperature. This afternoon it was harder to get them into the working window. We were hoping for more to be honest, because in FP3 we looked good. I think the race will be a different story; you can see from today that my lap times have improved so I think after 5 to 10 laps we’ll be okay. In qualifying you only have one or two laps and when you are just sliding; it’s hard. So, I’m focusing on tomorrow and hopeful that we can have a good battle with Sauber and Renault.”

Dave Ryan, Racing Director:

“After final practice this morning it seemed that the hard work last night had paid off for us but we struggled slightly more in qualifying when the cooler ambient temperature made it more difficult to get the tyres into the right operating window. The tyres were improving with every lap so that bodes well for the race tomorrow and hopefully we can enjoy a good battle with the cars around us.”

Formula One: Mighty Qualifying for Manor Racing

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A much-improved performance under the new qualifying format saw Manor Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein storm to 16th place in Bahrain today. He banked an impressive early lap on the SuperSoft to earn a second run, his time just a couple of tenths shy of a place in Q2. Teammate Rio Haryanto had to settle for a single shot at Q1 and will line up for his second Grand Prix in 20th place for tomorrow’s 2016 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.

Pascal Wehrlein:

“I’m so happy! Such a difference from Melbourne! It was a shame to miss out on Q2 but I’m so pleased to be as close as we are and it’s a really good position to build from. I need to thank the team for their hard work in giving me a car I felt comfortable in. We’re in a good place for tomorrow, although we’re still experiencing some degradation issues on the long runs. It’s a long race, so we need to manage that. It would be great to get the same kind of start as the last race and I hope we can stay competitive with the cars around us.”

Rio Haryanto:

“After a really good FP3 this morning I’m quite disappointed with my qualifying session. I only had time for one shot at it again and I didn’t get enough out of my push lap. Clearly there is more to come from the car and from me so we’ll have to see what happens with this format and work to optimise whatever solution we have in China. It’s a harder job for tomorrow now but I’m still looking forward to it as I was much happier with our race pace yesterday.”

Dave Ryan, Racing Director:

“A truly fantastic performance from Pascal today. We’ve made a pretty good step here but he definitely had the bit between his teeth after FP3 and knew a good result was within his grasp. We spent a lot of time looking at what we needed to do here after the disappointment of Melbourne and it’s good to see that translating into real progress. We were just a couple of tenths away from Q2 as well, so although there’s plenty of room for improvement, we’re heading in the right direction. Rio has had a better weekend here also and was looking good in FP3. He didn’t quite get his lap together, which he’ll be disappointed with, but it’s coming good for him too.”

Formula One: Rio Haryanto “Formula 1 in Indonesia is huge”

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Manor Racing preview the Bahrain GP

Find out what Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto took away from their Grand Prix debut in Melbourne and what lies ahead on the shifting sands of Sakhir this weekend.

Pascal, a big weekend in Melbourne. How was it for you?

“Melbourne was amazing. Nothing can prepare you for the feeling of lining up on the grid for the first time and taking the chequered flag at the end of your first Grand Prix. They are special memories for sure.”

Was there a standout moment?

“My start! I’ve replayed it over and over in my mind – and a little bit on TV! To find myself running in 13th place at one point was pretty incredible. To be honest, the whole first stint was really positive and a good reflection of the step the team has made since last season.”

Not all plain sailing though. What could have gone differently?

“As a team we learned a lot in Melbourne. Qualifying didn’t work out well for us and as we have the same format here in Bahrain we need to put those lessons into practice. We still have a way to go with optimising the set-up to counter the tyre degradation problems we experienced in the second half of the race. It was a good start, but there’s a lot of room for improvement in every area, including me.”

Hot on the heels of your first Grand Prix, your first night race! How about that?

“Yes, pretty exciting. My first F1 night race will be fun and it’s really cool to have that experience so early in my F1 career. I’m sure the circuit will feel spectacular to drive under the lights. I can’t wait.”

Rio. Despite the obvious disappointment of your retirement, you seemed pretty positive about the overall experience?

“My debut was an incredible experience and one I’d waited a long time for, so I tried not to dwell too heavily on retiring. There were too many positives to take away from the weekend so that’s what I did. On a personal level I was quite happy with my pace and how I translated everything I’d learned at the tests into a race weekend context. I know the team were disappointed with the problem that ended my race but it’s all about looking forward and there’s so much more to come.”

The support from Indonesia was massive. That must have put a big spring in your step all weekend?

“It’s really quite something to have that many people rooting for you. The appetite for Formula 1 in Indonesia is huge now and it makes me feel very proud to know that I’m flying the flag.

What did you get up to in the break between races?

“I went home to Solo in Indonesia. Everyone wanted to hear about the racing so I got to relive the experience again and again! It’s my job to reward the support by sharing every detail of the experience with the fans back home, so there was a lot of media work and some appearances, and a little bit of time to prepare for Bahrain.”

What are you most looking forward to this weekend?

“My first night race will be pretty special! Generally though, I think the weekend here will be a lot smoother and I’ve got some really good experience to draw on in every area. Most of all, I can’t wait to see the chequered flag!”

Dave, your two rookies did a good job in their debut race. How would you rate the team’s performance?

“We came away from Melbourne feeling a little disappointed, no two ways about it. The drivers did a great job and there’s a lot of potential in the car but we need to do a better job of bringing everything together when it counts. I’m sure every team can say the same as it’s only the beginning but I’m expecting us to make improvements in every area this weekend.”

What kind of Bahrain Grand Prix can we expect to see this weekend?

“This race always throws up a few surprises doesn’t it? It’s a bit of a moving feast to be honest, especially when you consider the weather we’ve seen here in the past few days. Rain is less of a factor, as it evaporates so quickly, but the wind can be a distraction for the drivers and the pit wall. Track conditions can vary significantly from the afternoon practice sessions to the twilight timing of qualifying and the race. So there’s a lot for the engineers and drivers to get their head around in order to make the right strategic calls.”

What about the new qualifying format?

“It’s back, so we have to work with it. Notwithstanding our opinion of it, we didn’t do a good enough job in Melbourne, so that’s where our team needs to focus its attentions. We’ve reviewed our approach and there’s plenty of room for improvement, some of which will come from developing the car and some from our performance as a team. They say the proof is in the pudding so let’s see how things look after the second helping!”