Rio Haryanto has said that he understands the reasons for Manor replacing him with Esteban Ocon for the rest of the 2016 season, and added that he hopes to secure a place on the Formula One grid in the future.
Far from feeling bitter about the decision, Haryanto thanked the team for allowing him an extra outing even after his original sponsorship backing ran out.
“Actually, they had helped me by allowing me to race in German Grand Prix. With the available funding, I should have only raced up to the Hungarian Grand Prix,” Haryanto told Indonesian magazine Tempo.co on Wednesday.
“The contract says it was 15 million euros in total. We only managed to garner eight million euros. We were seven million euros short.”
Haryanto said that his manager Piers Hunnissett had called him with the news of Manor’s decision, and an offer for him to stay with the team as a reserve driver which Haryanto has now formally accepted.
“Manor has offered me to become a reserve driver [which means that] the development program will continue,” he said. “I hope I can be with the team in every race.
“I hope that I can return to the circuit as a driver,” he said, adding: “Thank you for the overwhelming support from Indonesian people. Unfortunately, this season has to end at German Grand Prix due to lack of funding to meet contractual obligations to Manor.”
Ocon will take over Haryanto’s race seat with immediate effect in time for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps on August 28 following the mandatory two week Formula One summer shutdown.
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