On Thursday morning, the Manor team announced that Esteban Ocon will race alongside Pascal Wehrlein for the remainder of the 2016 Formula One season.
The British team confirmed it had decided to terminate Rio Haryanto’s contract as a full-time race driver after he was “unable to meet his contractual obligations”. As a result, Mercedes junior Ocon will make his grand prix debut in Belgium at the end of the month.
Haryanto had taken part in the first 12 grands prix of the season alongside Wehrlein, but it was reported the Indonesian would need to find additional funding in order to keep his race seat beyond Hockenheim.
Manor has offered Haryanto a reserve driver role for the remaining nine races of 2016. In an statement to the media yesterday, Racing director Dave Ryan said the following about the situation:-
‘We are very pleased to welcome Esteban to Manor Racing for the remainder of the season. He is clearly one of the rising stars of F1, shining in his reserve driver role with Renault, while also competing in the DTM with Mercedes-AMG this year.
‘We’re confident that when Esteban makes his grand prix debut in Spa, we will have a very potent lineup with which to take the fight to our immediate competitors for the rest of the season.
‘We are very pleased to continue our support for Rio’s F1 ambitions, by offering him a reserve driver role for the rest of the current season. We very much hope that he will accept that offer.’