By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
A return to Manor was in the mix for Rio Haryanto, but recent events have put a major hit on a chance for a race seat for the 2017 Formula 1 season.
The 23-year-old Indonesian’s main backer Pertamina, a state-owned oil and natural gas corporation, has decided to pull its sponsorship, leaving the country’s first F1 competitor without substantial funding for next season.
“This year there will not be a continuation of participation by Pertamina in F1,” spokeswoman Wianda Pusponegoro said in a statement.
“Of course we regret this very much, but we have already made maximal efforts for Rio and Indonesia.”
Haryanto ran 12 races with a best finish of 15th in the Canadian Grand Prix for the Banbury-based squad before being replaced by Esteban Ocon for the remainder of the season.
Despite the issues that he’s now been dealt with, Haryanto is still pushing to return to the grid.
“We are still working on a plan to keep Rio in Formula One,” Haryanto’s manager, Piers Hunnisett, told Reuters.
“People in the F1 world felt he did a good job and he deserves to be there.”