Manor Racing confirms GP3 line-up for 2011
26 February 2011 – Marussia Manor Racing has announced its driver line-up for the upcoming season, with Matias Laine joining Rio Haryanto and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs who have been retained by the squad for a second term. The outfit owned by John Booth - also Team Principal at the Virgin Racing Formula 1 team - finished fourth in the series last year, with its drivers scoring a collective total of 64 points over the course of the season.
Haryanto enjoyed the more successful campaign out of the Manor Racing duo, with the Indonesian driver claiming one race victory and two other podium finishes en route to fifth in the championship, as well as earning an F1 test drive with Virgin Racing at the end of the year.
"I am very happy to be rejoining the Manor Racing team in GP3 this year," Haryanto commented. "Last year was a fantastic learning year for me and I built up a good relationship with the team, so it made sense to continue with the programme.
"It is going to be a tough season and I believe GP3 will be even more competitive than last year, but I’m ready for the challenge."
Quaife-Hobbs earned a visit to the rostrum during Round 7 of the championship in Belgium, finishing race one at the iconic venue in third place, on his way to 15th in the standings with ten points to his name. The Briton is feeling confident ahead of his second campaign at the Sheffield-based team, and is hoping to fight at the front of the field in 2011.
"It’s great to be back with the team for a second year," the 20-year-old said. "We’ve got more pre-season testing this year which will help to prepare me. Another advantage is that we all know each other much better now, and I’m sure it will help us a great deal.
"This puts us in a stronger position compared to last season. I think we have a good opportunity to fight at the front. Our pace was strong last year and I’m sure we are capable of carrying it into the new season."
Finnish driver Laine has also been added to the line-up for the upcoming 16-race season, after graduating from the Formula 3 Euroseries. During the 2010 campaign, Laine collected three points for the Motopark Academy team, achieving his strongest result - a sixth place finish - at race two of the Brands Hatch meeting.
"I am very happy to join the GP3 Series this season and I know Manor Racing is the best place for me to fight for top positions," Laine stated. "I am more than ready for this new season. It’s going to be a challenging year, but I can’t wait to get in the car."