NO-SHOW IN OZ: Giedo van der Garde won't race at the 2015 Australian GP Image: AFP / Mal Fairclough.
MELBOURNE, Australia - Formula 1 driver Giedo van der Garde dropped legal action against Sauber, allowing the team to race at the season-opening 2015 Australian GP without him.
Van de Garde released a statement on Saturday (March 14) saying that while the issue was still not resolved and talks would resume later in March, he had agreed to forgo his right to race in Melbourne.
The announcement means Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr will drive for Sauber at Albert Park.
'DIFFICULT' DECISION FOR ME
Van der Garde said: "With respect to the interest of motorsport, and F1 in particular, I have decided to give up my legal rights to race this weekend at the Melbourne Grand Prix.
"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.
"My management will continue talks with Sauber early next week to find a mutually acceptable solution for the current situation that has now arisen."
A test driver for Sauber in 2014, Van der Garde has accused the team of reneging on a deal to let him race this season.
He won the initial case and a subsequent appeal but was not immediately reinstated, so his lawyers launched a contempt of court action against Sauber, forcing the team to comply with the order.
The case was adjourned on Friday (March 13) with the judge telling both parties to try to find a solution before Saturday's (March 14) official qualifying session.
Sauber said: "The Sauber F1 Team can confirm it has been able to agree with Giedo van der Garde that he refrains from driving in the Australian Formula One Grand Prix so it can keep its original planning.
"The Sauber F1 Team, Van der Garde and his management will continue to have constructive talks in order to find a mutually acceptable solution.
"The Sauber F1 Team is here to race in the Australian Grand Prix and that is what the team is now focusing on. In the course of next week we will be able to give more information."
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 Australian GP weekend!