Rio Haryanto is an Indonesian racing driver who was born o 22nd January 1993 and up until now has had quite a career as a driver. He started racing in 2008, and since then, he has not stopped for anything. Below is a breakdown of Rio’s career as a driver;

2008

Rio started his racing career participating in three Asian-based series. He features the 2008 Asian Formula Renault Challenge, Formula Asia 2.0, and the Formula BMW Pacific of 2008. He also participated in the Asia 2.0 series, where he won two races, finishing third overall in the championship.

2009

In 2009, he took part in the Australian Driver’s Championship and the Asian Formula Renault Challenge again. This year, he was mainly focused on the Formula VMC championship in which he prevailed. He won 11 out of the 15 races in which he participated as part of the Malaysian Meritus team. He also finished in the first position during the 2009 Formula BMW Pacific season with the Questnet Team Qi-Meritus. He also competed in the European FBMW series, where he was a guest driver in the same year.

2010-2011

This year was significant for Rion Haryanto as he joined his more competitive European racing scene on a full-time basis. He entered the Manor Racing team for the GP3 series. He made a name for himself by winning a race at the Istanbul park and becoming the leading manor driver. He remained with the Manor Racing team until 2011 when the team was renamed Marussia Manor Racing. In 2011, he gained two more victories at Hungaroring and Nurburgring. Regardless, this was not enough because he flipped to seventh place in the series and was reasonably inconsistent in his performance. At this time, he also played for the DAMS team in the Auto GP series.

2012-2015

In 2012, Rio started his full-time participation in the GP2 series with the Marrusia-backed Carlin team. This was a significant period in Rio Haryanto’s career as he became the first Indonesian racer to compete at this level of motorsport in more than a decade. During his first GP2 season, he accomplished a single fastest lap and a single pole position in wet conditions. These achievements cemented his place and reputation as a wet-weather specialist. By the end of the season, he achieved the 14th rank.

In 2013, he also raced in the GP2 series for the Barwa Addax Team. The same year, he achieved his first podium in this series at Silverstone and for the Barwa Addax Team in this season. In 2014, he switched teams and joined the EQ8 Caterham Racing team. He achieved his second podium in the 2014 GP2 season. The next year, he participated in the GP2 series, where he completed in fourth place with 138 points.

2016-2018

Rio Haryanto became the first person to become the first Indonesian Formula 1driver by signing a one-year contract with the Manor, a prominent British Motor Racing team. The announcement was made in February 2016. His time with the Manor started on a low note when he collided with another driver at the pit lane during a practice race. This resulted in a three-place grid penalty and a two-point penalty added to his license. His time at the Manor was met with many challenges resulting in his demotion from driver to reserve driver due to lack of sponsorship.

He also had a hard time proving his capabilities in the team. The initial announcement though led to an increasing number of people betting on formula 1 races. With bookmakers like Bwin and William Hill sharing large parts of the market, they made their most earnings with the big drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, of course. Basically, the betting odds were always stacked against Haryanto but he had his best race at the Monaco Grand Prix on May 29 in 2016 where some of the F1 punters finally got some of their invested money back.

However, this was a minor setback, and after his year-long contract, he moved on and continued racing. His challenges and setbacks also do not take away from the fact that he remains the first and only Indonesian driver to compete in Formula One. The team of three finished in the 5th position. In 2019, the Indonesian racer participated in the Asian Le Mans Series, where he finished in 8th place with 41 points. He entered the series with the T2 Motorsports team.

Currently

Rio Haryanto currently competes in the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia for T2 Motorsports. In 2019, he took part in the same series, where he completed in 31st place as his teammate finished in 12th place. Rio is scheduled to race a Ferrari 488 GT3 alongside fellow Indonesian driver David Tjuptobiantoro in four rounds and two rounds of the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia series.

Final word

28-year-old Rio Haryanto is referred to as the most successful Indonesian racing driver because of the races he has taken part in and his achievements over the years. His time in the Formula One series as part of the Manor was the highest point of his career. While the future is unknown, one sure thing about Rio is that he will continue pursuing his dreams despite the challenges that come his way. Rio has paved the path for young racing drivers in Indonesia.