Haryanto accepts Manor F1 reserve role for rest of 2016

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Rio Haryanto has accepted Manor’s offer of a reserve role for the remainder of the 2016 Formula 1 season after losing his race seat.

Manor announced on Wednesday that Haryanto had been dropped after failing to fulfil his contractual obligations due to a shortfall in funding.

Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon will make his F1 debut in Belgium with Manor.

Haryanto was offered a reserve role by Manor for the remainder of the season, which the team confirmed on Thursday had been accepted.

“Manor Racing is pleased to announce that Rio Haryanto will remain with the team for the rest of the season, having accepted its offer of a reserve driver role,” a statement from Manor read.

“Rio will be available to deputise should either race driver be unable to take part in an event. He will also be immersed in engineering meetings and PR activities, as the team continues its support for his racing ambitions.”

Haryanto’s appointment as reserve driver appears to shuffle Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi down the pecking order at Manor, the American having been the team’s denoted back-up since the start of the season.

Rossi was offered Haryanto’s race seat for the remainder of the season, but turned it down in order to focus on his commitments in IndyCar with Andretti/Bryan Herta Autosport.

With Haryanto now on hand to replace either Ocon or Pascal Wehrlein should they be unable to race, Rossi now looks even more unlikely to add to his haul of five grand prix starts in 2016.