In the latest F1 twist, Will Stevens has lost his seat at Manor to Indonesian driver Rio Haryanto. Stevens who previously drove for Caterham is expected to continue his career in America.
Haryanto’s appointment completes the 2016 grid and he will carry the number 88 on his car. This leaves just three Englishmen in the running – World champion Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Renault rookie Jolyon Palmer.
Haryanto joins Pascal Werlhein at Manor. Owner Stephen Fitzpatrick said: ‘We are delighted to announce Rio as our second race driver for 2016. Rio’s been racing since he first got into a kart at six years old” The newly appointed driver finished fourth in the junior GP2 series in 2015. He has substantial government and sponsorship backing reportedly in excess of £10m.
“Manor Racing is a team with an exciting vision and ambitious plans,” said Haryanto. “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 and 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.”
After Manor failed to score a point last year they are set to target a competitive season, with Mercedes engines and Ferarri techinican chiefs Nikolas Tombazis and Pat Fry.
The 2016 F1 grid in full:
Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg
Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen
Williams: Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa
Red Bull: Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo
Force India: Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez
Renault: Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer
Toro Rosso: Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen
Sauber: Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr
McLaren: Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso
Manor: Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto
Haas: Esteban Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean
The first test is in Barcelona on Monday the 22nd of February.
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