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News18 » Formula One
1-min read

F1: Van der Garde drops court action, steps aside for Australian GP

Van der Garde announced that he would step aside for Sauber's other contracted drivers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.

News18http://RajeevMasand

Updated:March 14, 2015, 9:59 AM IST
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F1: Van der Garde drops court action, steps aside for Australian GP
Van der Garde announced that he would step aside for Sauber's other contracted drivers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.

Melbourne: Formula One driver Giedo van der Garde dropped his contempt of court action against his team Sauber on Saturday, allowing the Swiss team to compete in this weekend's Australian Grand Prix.

The 29-year-old Dutch announced he would step aside for Sauber's other contracted drivers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr after immediate concerns were resolved during intense discussions on Friday night, reports Xinhua.

After the Victorian Supreme Court said on Wednesday that Van der Garde had a legal right to drive in the season's opening race, Sauber risked having their assets seized and team principal Monisha Kaltenborn arrested if they raced any cars in Melbourne.

In a statement, Van der Garde, who has a contract with Sauber to race in 2015, confirmed that he had stepped aside in time for Saturday's qualifying.

"With respect to the interest of motorsport, and F1 in particular, I have decided to give up my legal rights to race this weekend. As I am a passionate race driver this decision has been very difficult for me. However, I also wish to respect the interest of the FIA, Sauber Motorsport, as well as Nasr and Ericsson," said Van der Garde.

"My management will continue talks with Sauber early next week to find a mutually acceptable solution for the current situation. I am confident such solution will be found."

Van der Garde had claimed that he was guaranteed a race seat in the 2015 Sauber line-up after signing a contract last year while a test driver. In spite of this, Sauber contracted two more drivers, Sweden's Ericsson and Brazil's Nasr.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that Van der Garde should be allowed to drive here, upholding a Swiss arbitration court's decision. However, with Sauber having never submitted Van der Garde's F1 licence, it was unlikely the motorsport authorities would have allowed the Dutchman to pilot the car.

Whether a financial settlement can be reached between Van der Garde and cash-strapped Sauber will be clearer when the two parties resume discussions next week.

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