F1 Driver’s Mother Puts the Kibosh on His Racing Career

He'll go work for his father's stationery company instead.

Rio Haryanto had a rough go of it last year. The first Indonesian-born F1 driver signed with the Manor team in February; he crashed in pit lane during practice for his first Grand Prix, registering penalty points to his racing license before completing an official lap. Things only got worse from there. Through ten races, Haryanto failed to finish better than 15th, crashing out in both Russia and Britain. Then his funding ran dry. When a bizarre, last-ditch SMS text crowdfunding campaign failed to cover the spread, he lost the Manor seat in July.

The 23-year old’s primary benefactor, the Indonesian state-owned energy company Pertamina, has since announced it’s pulling his sponsorship.

Mark Thompson/Getty

Now, the end of Haryanto’s brief foray into the sport has been confirmed by an unlikely (but highly reliable) source: His mother.

“He will not be racing in Formula 1 this year,” Indah Pennywati said definitively.

An official from the Indonesian Ministry of Sports expressed disappointment, saying he hopes this doesn’t mean an end to the young driver’s racing career. Haryanto tells Reuters UK, via text message, that he has “not yet confirmed” his next move in motorsport. His manager, Piers Hunnisett, says he is “still working on a plan to keep Rio in Formula 1.”

But it seems Haryanto’s mother has other plans. She tells the Jakarta bureau for Rappler, a Filipino news website, that her son will no longer be racing. Instead, he’ll go to work for his father at Solo Murni, the family’s stationery company. We’ll take her word for it.