Haryanto looking for fan boost for maiden F1 race

Rio Haryanto is relying on his legion of dedicated fans from Indonesia to give him a huge boost of confidence heading into his maiden appearance in Formula One later this month in Melbourne, Australia.

“They are just great supporters,” said the 23-year-old. “A lot of fans have been following me from the GP2 days and now in Formula One and it’s getting bigger and bigger every time.

“I am really thankful and pleased for that,” he added. “Over the moon!”

For his first Grand Prix outing, Haryanto will be paired at Manor Racing with another Formula One newcomer in 2016 in the form of DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein.

Haryanto was quick to praise his new team mate, and pointed out the advantages that the German star brings from his time competing for Mercedes in DTM.

“Pascal is a really good driver,” said Haryanto. “He won DTM and he is also a reserve driver Mercedes.

“I think he gave us a lot of good information because he was driving more of a winning car over there.”

With an all-rookie driver line-up, Haryanto agreed that it was important for Manor to balance that by building up an experienced back room support staff behind the scenes.

“They brought a very good knowledge and also understanding of the car,” Haryanto acknowledged of the influx of new staff over the off-season.

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