Rio Haryanto admits spinning on his Manor debut in Barcelona came after “I made a small mistake”, but the Indonesian was pleased to recover and secure valuable mileage.
Haryanto completed the 2016 F1 grid last week when the 23-year-old was confirmed alongside Pascal Wehrlein at the small British outfit. The DTM champion had driven on the opening two days of pre-season testing, with Haryanto sampling the MRT05 for the first time on Wednesday.
The GP2 Series graduate caused a red flag in the morning, as he ended up stranded in the gravel trap just outside Turn 5.
“I made a small mistake and that’s it,” Haryanto said of the incident. “There was no damage to the car and we managed to get going again in the afternoon.”
Haryanto finished his maiden day as a fully-fledged F1 driver bottom of the timesheets with 78 laps under his belt, spending most of the afternoon doing long runs on the harder Pirelli compound.
A late switch to the soft tyre enabled the Indonesian to improve his previous benchmark by one second and lower it to 1:28.249.
“The team just told me that we did the most laps by far compared to [Wehrlein] on the first two days. It was a very productive day for me and also for the team.”
Haryanto’s promotion to Manor has generated a lot of interest in his home country. Asked whether he saw it as extra motivation or pressure, the newest member of the F1 community replied:
“It’s both. Without the support they are giving me I don’t think I would be here. But I am here because I want to do a good job as well. I think I just have to focus on my job and not think about the pressure.
“Formula One has always been the ultimate goal since I was young and I am here so it’s a dream come true.”
“It’s the right moment to be in F1 as well. I am looking forward to what’s coming up next.”