Rio Haryanto facing ‘critical week’ in push for Manor F1 seat

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Rio Haryanto’s hopes of joining Manor Racing for the 2016 Formula 1 season largely hinge on the next week as he looks to accumulate the required backing to secure a seat with the British team.

Haryanto, 23, has spent the last four years racing in GP2, claiming three race wins en route to fourth place in the final standings in 2015.

The Indonesian driver has previously tested F1 cars with both Caterham and Manor, enjoying ties with the latter for the past five years.

A leaked letter confirmed that Haryanto was in the running for a seat at Manor relying he could secure $16 million in backing.

Haryanto is being supported in his drive by the Indonesian government, but remains short of his target ahead of what Youth and Sports Ministry spokesman Gatot S. Dewa Broto said was a “critical” week in deciding his future.

“This week will be a critical time for Rio in entering F1,” Gatot told The Jakarta Post.

“We’ve done our best. We’ll all see how it ends.”

Haryanto’s mother, Indah Pennywati, thanked the government for its support of her son and said that she expects a decision from Manor in the next week.

“We would like to express our gratitude to the government — Pertamina and State-Owned Enterprises [Ministry] — which has been very supportive of Rio reaching F1,” she said.

“We are looking forward to good news from Manor Racing regarding Rio’s participation in the event by next week.”

Both seats at the recently-rebranded Manor team remain up for grabs, with American driver Alexander Rossi, DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein and British racer Will Stevens also in the running.