The Indonesian government has launched an SMS support fund to raise the money to allow Rio Haryanto to remain in Formula 1.
Haryanto became Indonesia’s first ever F1 driver this season when he joined the Manor racing team, but he had to pay 15million euros for the privilege.
It has now emerged that he is some 4.2million short – according to a report by CNN Indonesia – despite a lucrative sponsorship deal with Pertamini, a state-owned Indonesian oil and natural gas company, and the tourism ministry.
Now, the Indonesian people are being invited to make up the shortfall via an SMS system.
"Let us support this,” said the minister of communications and information, Rudiantara. “It can be like taking medicine, three times a day.
“Moreover, the number of mobile users in Indonesia is quite large. If things go well, I think it will be enough to provide the support.”
To successfully raise the required money, a total of 12.4million SMSs must be sent, with donations being taken until July 17.