Rio Haryanto says he is “working hard” to secure a seat on the Formula 1 grid for the 2017 season after losing his drive with Manor mid-way through 2016.
Haryanto made his F1 debut in Australia and enjoyed a solid half-season before being dropped after failing to secure enough financial backing to see out the campaign.
The Indonesian driver is thought to have secured more funding ahead of a possible return in 2017, potentially with Manor once again or with the Sauber team.
“Of course there is a chance to get back again,” Haryanto told Reuters.
“We are working hard to get the seat back. It has to be next year.”
Haryanto’s manager Piers Hunnisett added: “There are three places left now. Once one gets done, everything else can go very quickly. We are just watching everybody.
“I’m quite positive we can do something. But things change very quickly in Formula 1. I know we’ve still got huge support from Indonesia, the media and the fans. Sponsorship is ongoing.”
Haryanto was replaced by Esteban Ocon at Manor from the Belgian Grand Prix onwards, but the Frenchman will race for Force India next year, freeing up a seat.
Outgoing Haas driver Esteban Gutierrez is rumored to be in the mix for a seat at Manor should Mexican-American businessman Tavo Hellmund become an investor in the team, while Mercedes is in talks with both Manor and Sauber about a seat for junior driver Pascal Wehrlein.
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).
However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.
However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.
Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.
In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth.
On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).
Check out the above video.
Sunday is the biggest day of the year in motorsports, starting in the morning with Formula 1’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix.
Then, at Noon ET, it’s the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The final part of the tripleheader of racing is NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the 400-lap, 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Newly-named NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Ken Squier gives you a great primer for what promises to be a memorable day around the world (see video above).