Ahead of its start in March next month, the 2016 season of the Formula 1 is finally taking up shape. After revealing the race calendar a couple of months ago, F1 now has revealed the final list of drivers and constructors to race in the upcoming season. While the teams are already busy with their pre-season testing, the only thing remaining now is the F1 car's livery.
The list of the drivers got completed with Manor-Mercedes Racing revealing the name of their second driver - Rio Haryanto. The Indonesian will race in his rookie season along side DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein. Haryanto faced stiff competition for the seat from 2015 race drivers Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi, resulting in delay of announcement by Manor for the final name.
Various rumors indicate that Haryanto is backed by the state, to a level that neither Stevens nor Rossi could match it. "Manor Racing is a team with an exciting vision and ambitious plans," said Haryanto, who has chosen number 88 as his race number. "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," adds excited Haryanto. "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."
"We are delighted to announce Rio as our second race driver for 2016," team owner Stephen Fitzpatrick said. "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. Rio's huge following in Indonesia is great for the team and for F1." He adds, "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 will join Manor in Barcelona next week for the first pre-season tests ahead of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix next month.
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2016 F1 driver line-up -
Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg
Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen
Williams-Mercedes: Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Massa
Red Bull-TAG (Renault): Daniil Kvyat, Daniel Ricciardo
Force India-Mercedes: Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg
Renault: Kevin Magnussen, Jolyon Palmer
Toro Rosso-Ferrari: Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz Jr
Sauber-Ferrari: Felipe Nasr, Marcus Ericsson
McLaren-Honda: Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button
Manor-Mercedes: Pascal Wehrlein, Rio Haryanto
Haas-Ferrari: Romain Grosjean, Esteban Gutierrez