Your driver of the weekend for Australia is… Rio Haryanto!!! After having the official F1 fan vote victory taken away so cruelly on a technicality, the TJ13 jury have spoken and decided to award justice for Rio.
To be fair to him, he did actually put in a good performance in Australia, but was hard to see as Manor rarely feature on the coverage. Things didn’t get off to a fantastic start, with a slightly calamitous pit lane blunder with Grosjean in final practice that earned him a three place grid drop and two penalty points.
Never fear Rio fans, as his master stroke came in qualifying itself, where he managed to out-pace his highly regarded Mercedes protege team-mate Pascal Wehrlein, albeit by a meagre 0.015 seconds. Still, that is a huge win for him and far better than most pundits expected.
The race did not go so well for the Indonesian driver with his race ending early on with a driveline issue. “My race was short but really positive. I made a good start, the pace was strong and I was happy with the way I was managing the gap to the cars around me. Obviously I’m disappointed not to finish my first Grand Prix but I know the team are disappointed this happened. Everyone is really starting to work well together so I’m sure we’ll be on top of things for Bahrain. It’s been a mixed weekend; some positives, some things we need to learn from. Problems aside, my debut weekend was really special and the support I’ve had from the crowd here and everyone back in Indonesia has been incredible. I hope for a better reward for us in Bahrain.”
We have contacted Rio to present him with his award, but so far he has not responded to our messages. Still, I imagine this would be his reaction to receiving the trophy.
Well done Rio, our first driver of the day for 2016!