Pascal Wehrlein has defended his ousted Manor teammate Rio Haryanto.
Throughout the Indonesian’s half season with the backmarker team, many branded Haryanto a mere ‘pay driver’ and said his replacement Esteban Ocon was a clear step forward for Manor’s 2016 lineup.
Referring to qualifying at Spa – Ocon’s first race – German Wehrlein is quoted by Tuttosport: “Esteban is a great talent and it was nice to be half a second ahead of him.
“Maybe now you will understand that Rio was actually a good driver who was doing a good job. I am convinced that if he had driven here in qualifying he would have been in Q2,” he added.
“I think he was very underrated and so I’m a bit sad because he was a good friend who did a great job,” said Wehrlein.