Rio Haryanto has admitted that he is living out a life-long dream by competing in the 2016 edition of the Formula1.
Few sports provide barriers to entry like Formula1 and so for most just taking part in racing’s showpiece event is an achievement in itself. That is exactly how 23-year-old Haryanto sees his participation in the series. Over the weekend at the Australian Grand Prix, he will become Indonesia’s first Formula1 driver.
“There’s been a tremendous response back home. Obviously to be able to compete in Formula One is a great thing and I’m very proud and I’m sure the whole nation is proud to have me in F1,” Haryanto said at his first official Formula1 media conference.
“This has been my dream for such a long time and I’m enjoying every minute.
“It’s an incredible time for me and my country. The support means so much to me so I want to include my fans every step of the way.”
On the back of just four days testing in his new Manor car, Haryanto said on Thursday that he is ready.
“It was only four days but we packed a lot into that space of time,” he said.
“We covered pretty much everything; single lap, race simulation, qualifying simulation, practice starts, practice stops, plus a whole list of other race weekend procedures.
“Of course, you would always like more time to prepare, but I’m ready.
“I want to take it all in, as it’s a weekend I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
“On the track, I’m looking forward to my first qualifying and the race of course. I think the qualifying format is going to be interesting. It’s something new for everyone.
“Then lining up on the starting grid is going to be pretty special, but there’s a lot to do before then!”