No doubts about Haryanto's contract, says manager

Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:59pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Rio Haryanto's manager has calmed fears that Indonesia's first Formula One driver may have to raise more money to last the whole season.

"There was some speculation but it’s now all clear. He has a contract for the full season," Piers Hunnisett told Reuters after the 23-year-old's first day of testing since signing for the Manor team.

Haryanto has brought at least five million euros ($5.51 million) to the sport's smallest team, thanks to state oil sponsor Pertamina, and will be the only Asian driver on the starting grid.

Although he tested previously for the team in its former guises, and is familiar with the Circuit de Catalunya from competing in the GP2 feeder series, Wednesday was still a momentous day.

Haryanto completed 78 laps, bringing out red flags when he spun into the gravel, and was slowest of the 12 drivers who took part in the day's sessions by quite some margin.

"I made a small mistake and that’s it. There was no damage. We managed to get going in the afternoon again," he told reporters. "It was a very productive day for me and the team.

"It’s been two or three months that I am out of the car, it’s quite tough but I managed to do the run plan. I just have to focus on my job and not think of the pressure."

"Formula One has always been the ultimate goal so it’s a dream come true," he continued. "I think I will get used to it, day by day. The general feeling of the car was much better compared to the previous one."   Continued...

Manor Racing Formula One driver Rio Haryanto of Indonesia stands outside his team's garage after the third testing session ahead the upcoming season at the Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmelo, Spain, February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergio Perez