Esteban Ocon was confirmed as replacement for Rio Haryanto in Manor Racing, after the Indonesian has been repositioned to reserve driver. Fellow Mercedes driver Pascal Wehrlein will stay in the cockpit next to the French driver, who will join the team in Belgium and until the end of the season.
For many weeks rumours have been sounding about Manor Racing and the Indonesian driver’s sponsors. Rio Haryanto was unable to meet his contractual obligations with the Formula 1 team due to a delay in his sponsors’ payments, an issue that finally and as expected, took its toll.
This morning Manor announced that Rio Haryanto will be dropped as official driver of the team. However, the team prides itself upon maintaining him as a reserve driver “in a bid to keep his Formula 1 dream alive”. As rumours suggested, the team also makes it official that the cause was the driver being unable to meet his contractual obligations.
FOM also made it official that Esteban Ocon will be the Indonesian’s replacement from the Belgian Grand Prix and until the end of the season. Rossi and even Vandoorne were possible candidates for the seat, but as transcended, the American refused the offer.
Ocon will make it into his maiden Formula 1 Grand Prix next to fellow Mercedes driver Pascal Wehrlein. Ocon has been on the Formula 1 radar since he won the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in 2014. In 2015 he was GP3 champion and this year, apart from participating in DTM, he has driven a Renault F1 as reserve driver in several practices and tests.