A spokesperson for Pertamina, the main sponsor of Manor F1 Team, has said that the Indonesian State-owned energy company will stop advertising on the cars after the demotion of Rio Haryanto to a reserve driver role.
The Indonesian was dropped last week in favour of 2015 GP3 champion and Mercedes development driver Esteban Ocon, who will drive the second Manor from the Belgian Grand Prix onwards.
Speaking to The Jakarta Post, spokeswoman Wianda Pusponegoro said that the decision was taken on the basis that Haryanto and Pertamina are "indivisible entities as representatives of Indonesia". Although Haryanto will stay on with the team in a reserve role, it was not enough for the energy firm to continue advertising on the rear wing of each car.
“Manor Racing team has offered to let us continue advertising on its cars." She said. "However, we have decided to discontinue the advertising."
Ocon was drafted in after Haryanto's €15 million contract payment was not fulfilled. It is reported that Pertamina had paid €5 million, while his family provided €2.5 million, but the remaining €7.5 million was not delivered in time, prompting the driver change.
It is not yet clear whether Manor will run advertising related to engine supplier Mercedes on the rear wing in place of the energy firm, or whether it will simply be left blank.