Ocon poised to replace Haryanto – report

Aug.10 (GMM) Esteban Ocon appears set to emerge from the summer break as F1’s newest teenage rookie.

Auto Hebdo, a French magazine, claims the Mercedes-backed 19-year-old has got the green light to replace Rio Haryanto at Manor, after the Indonesian’s backing ran dry.

Indeed, AFP news agency reports this week that Indonesian officials recently received a letter from Manor demanding an overdue EUR 7 million to secure the seat for the Belgian grand prix and beyond.

“We understand Manor’s concern but we hope Rio will not be replaced by another driver just because of funding issues,” Indonesian sports ministry spokesman Gatot Dewa Broto said.

He indicated that securing the necessary EUR 7m was unlikely.

“We don’t really see that happening. We can’t promise anything.”

Manor did not comment.

Auto Hebdo said Mercedes is poised to sign Ocon’s deal with Manor, having already secured a replacement for the 19-year-old in the DTM series.

Ocon is currently on loan as Renault’s reserve driver.

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