Indonesian sports minister pushing to get Haryanto F1 seat

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Indonesian sports minister Imam Nahrawi continued his push to secure a Formula 1 seat for Rio Haryanto next year by lobbying local businessmen and other government figures to get behind the GP2 racer.

Haryanto has spent the last four years racing in GP2, taking three wins en route to P4 in the drivers’ championship with Campos in 2015.

The Indonesian racer enjoyed a successful test with Manor in Abu Dhabi at the beginning of the month, and is known to be pushing to take one of the two seats at the team for 2016.

Earlier this month, a leaked letter from Nahrawi confirmed that the Indonesian government was working to secure Haryanto a seat at Manor, pledging to raise €15 million ($16.3 million) for 2016.

As quoted by the Jakarta Post on Saturday, Nahrawi called on those at the recent Indonesian Motorsports Indonesia (IMI) meeting to get behind Haryanto and give him a chance to make his F1 debut in 2016.

“I need to find a perfect formula for Rio’s financial support to meet Manor team’s requirements,” Nahrawi said.

“We’ve got businessmen like Aksa Mahmud and Adiguna Sutowo [at the IMI meeting]. I really hope they can help Rio.”

The report claims that Nahrawi has secured one-third of the funding thanks to sponsorship from state-owned oil company Pertamina, but needs to raise the remaining €10 million in the next three weeks to gain the seat with Manor.

Should Haryanto accrue the backing required, it is still unclear whether he would be allowed to race in F1 following the new FIA super license rules that are set to come into force from 2016.