Pertamina has now doubled down on its withdrawals, announcing in a statement on Tuesday it wouldn’t continue with Haryanto into 2017 despite making the “maximal effort” to get Haryanto back into a seat.
“This year there will not be a continuation of participation by Pertamina in F1,” spokeswoman Wianda Pusponegoro said in the statement, via Reuters.
Haryanto’s only hope for an F1 seat this year appears to be an encore at Manor anyway, with Sauber looking poised to recruit Manor’s other 2016 driver, Pascal Wehrlein, as the likely replacement for Felipe Nasr.
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.