Updated: Sep 15
Rio Haryanto has the honour of being, the one and only Indonesian to ever race in Formula 1. Haryanto was Born in Solo, Indonesia on 22 January 1993. He is the son of Sinyo Haryanto, a businessman. But his F1 campaign wasn’t exceptional, nor a matter for national pride. So we should begin by examining his ability on-track, is He any good? Let’s see a recap of his racing career first.
Written By Zaki Ali Rahman, Edited By Hazel Alagappan
According to driverdb.com Rio started his racing career in Karting from 2005 and spent two years there until 2007. The highlights of his karting career include when he won the 2006 Asian Karting Open Championship in ROK Junior and Formula 125 Junior Open class. He also finished 2nd overall in the 2007 Rotax Max Challenge Asia in Junior class.
Rio moved up to the upper levels of car racing in 2008 where he raced in Formula Asia 2.0, Formula Renault Asian Challenge, and Formula BMW Pacific. His 3rd position overall in Formula Asia 2.0 was the highlight that year.
In 2009 He raced in some events, but the highlight of that year was the championship he took in Formula BMW Pacific with 11 wins and 12 podiums. Haryanto started racing in Formula3(Formerly GP3) in 2010 racing with Manor Racing, where he won 1 race. He also became the test and reserve driver for Marussia Virgin Racing. In 2011 He still raced in GP3 with the same team, GP2 final rounds, and Auto GP with DAMS team. He stepped up to GP2 from 2012 to 2015 where his highest finishing position overall was 4th in 2015 with Campos team.
In 2016 Marussia F1 Team was rebranded to Manor Racing Team. Haryanto was called to race for the team alongside Pascal Wehrlein. Unfortunately He didn’t score any points but Wehrlein did get a point in the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix. Haryanto only raced half season for the team because his sponsors were unable to meet the team’s financial demands. He was demoted to reserve driver status ahead of the 2016 Belgium Grand Prix. He was replaced by Esteban ocon for the rest of the season.
After His career in Formula 1 He took a break from racing for a few years. In 2019 He return to racing where He raced in Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia – GT3 ProAm. Haryanto raced with the team T2 Motorsports alongside David Tjiptobiantoro. He got a podium in the 3rd event of the season in Chang circuit, Thailand. In 2020 He raced in Asian Le Mans Series, still racing with T2 Motorsports.
In conclusion, and with the benefit of context, does this make Rio Haryanto a good driver? In the authors humble opinion yes, because he showed that he had the capacity to race at the upper echelons of Formula One, even if it proved to be temporary. His performance records in other categories are not particularly damning or notable.