Haryanto loses backing from main F1 sponsor

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Rio Haryanto’s hopes of being on the Formula 1 grid in 2017 have been dealt a fresh blow after losing financial backing from his primary sponsor, Pertamina.

Haryanto made his F1 debut in Australia last March, and continued with the Manor team through the rest of the summer until the German Grand Prix.

The first Indonesian driver in F1 history was unable to gather enough funding to make it through the rest of the season, his place instead taken by Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon as he stepped up to a full-time drive starting at Spa in August. Pertamina, the Indonesian state-owned energy company, also announced its withdrawal from Manor shortly thereafter.

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.