On the eve of his second race as a Formula 1 driver, Manor rookie Rio Haryanto heads to Bahrain in a positive frame of mind, hopeful of progressing once again along his learning curve.
The 23-year-old Indonesian was sidelined with transmission problems after just 17 laps in Melbourne, but still took away many positives from his F1 baptism of fire.
“My debut was an incredible experience and one I’d waited a long time for, so I tried not to dwell too heavily on retiring,” Haryanto explained.
“There were too many positives to take away from the weekend so that’s what I did. On a personal level I was quite happy with my pace and how I translated everything I’d learned at the tests into a race weekend context.
“I know the team were disappointed with the problem that ended my race but it’s all about looking forward and there’s so much more to come.”
As the first driver in the history of F1 to emerge from Indonesia, Haryanto has developed a popular following in his home country where he returned to after Australia.
“It’s really quite something to have that many people rooting for you. The appetite for Formula 1 in Indonesia is huge now and it makes me feel very proud to know that I’m flying the flag.”
“I went home to Solo in Indonesia. Everyone wanted to hear about the racing so I got to relive the experience again and again!
“It’s my job to reward the support by sharing every detail of the experience with the fans back home, so there was a lot of media work and some appearances, and a little bit of time to prepare for Bahrain.”
The Manor driver will be pursuing his apprenticeship at Sakhir this weekend and will also race for the first time in the desert under the floodlights.
“My first night race will be pretty special! Generally though, I think the weekend here will be a lot smoother and I’ve got some really good experience to draw on in every area.
“Most of all, I can’t wait to see the chequered flag!”
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