Haryanto let down by Manor for early exit - team boss

 20 Mar 2016 - 13:47

Haryanto let down by Manor for early exit - team boss
 

Melbourne: The Manor Racing team said they let down Indonesian rookie Rio Haryanto after his Formula One debut was cut short by mechanical problems at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on Sunday.

Haryanto, his country's first-ever F1 driver, pulled out of the race on the 18th of the 57-lap GP after his Manor car experienced driveline problems.

It capped an eventful weekend for the 23-year-old F1 novice, who incurred a three-place grid penalty for crashing in pitlane as he went out for a practice session on Saturday. 

But Manor team boss Dave Ryan said the team took some of the blame for Haryanto's mishap in the season-opening race at Albert Park.

"After the red flag (race stopped) things took a turn for the worse, starting with the problem that led to Rio's retirement," Ryan said.

"We let him down today so reliability will be our highest priority ahead of the next race in Bahrain and at the same time, we have to look at where we've lost out in performance terms."

Haryanto said he took positives out of his first F1 race.

"My race was short but really positive. I made a good start, the pace was strong and I was happy with the way I was managing the gap to the cars around me," he said.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed not to finish my first Grand Prix but I know the team are disappointed this happened.

"Everyone is really starting to work well together so I'm sure we'll be on top of things for Bahrain.

"It's been a mixed weekend; some positives, some things we need to learn from.

"Problems aside, my debut weekend was really special and the support I've had from the crowd here and everyone back in Indonesia has been incredible. I hope for a better reward for us in Bahrain."

The 23-year-old F1 driver only secured a seat in Manor Racing after he managed to pay 15 million euros (about $16.62 million) to join the British F1 racing team, according to local media.

Haryanto and his team had been locked in lengthy negotiations with Manor for months as they struggled to drum up the financial support needed to secure an F1 berth.

His campaign got across the line when funding was secured from the Indonesian government and the country's state-owned oil company, as well as his major sponsor, Pertamina.

Haryanto's manager Piers Hunnisett said he was confident the young driver would attract further sponsorship from Indonesian companies throughout his F1 debut season, where he will compete in every race.

AFP