Van der Garde gives up right to race in Australia

Giedo van der Garde says he has relinquished his right to race in Melbourne in the interests of Sauber and Formula 1, therefore allowing the Swiss team to run Marcus Ercisson and Felipe Nasr as originally planned.

The Dutch driver had sued Sauber in order to enforce a legally binding contract, which says he is entitled to one of the two race seats.

Victorua's Supreme Court upheld his right following a Sauber appeal, but the affair has dragged on into the weekend and, due to circumstances, Van der Garde hasn't been able to take part in the grand prix.

"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," he said in a statement.

"As I am a passionate race driver this decision has been very difficult for me," he added. "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.

"I am confident such solution will be found and I will inform the media once done."

Sauber confirmed the news, but it's likely discussions and possibly further court proceedings could happen ahead of the Malaysian GP in a fortnight.

"The Sauber F1 Team can confirm it has been able to agree with Mr. Giedo Van der Garde that he refrains from driving in the Australian Formula One Grand Prix so it can keep its original planning," added Sauber.

"The Sauber F1 Team, Mr. 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 Formula One 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."