Indonesia to raise fund for first F1 driver

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Jakarta, March 16 (IANS) The Indonesian sport ministry is collecting funds to help finance the country’s first Formula One driver Rio Haryanto.

Indonesian Youth and Sport Minister Imam Nahrawi said on Wednesday that Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla had asked the country’s businessmen to assist Haryanto, reports Xinhua.

“Haryanto needs financial assistance. We are deeply grateful to the vice president who has ordered businessmen to give financial aids,” Nahrawi said at the State Palace.

The 23-year-old F1 driver will only secure a seat in Manor Racing, after he managed to pay 15 million euros (about $16.62 million) for a membership of the British F1 racing team, according to local media.

Nahrawi said 10 million euros funds are yet to be collected, adding that the ministry will focus more on the domestic sources to raise funds.

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Previously, Nahrawi has asked the driver to turn down sponsorship from Malaysian tourism ministry.

Haryanto will make his first F1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 20, according to the youth and sport ministry.

“This is a new history,” Nahrawi said.

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