Giedo van der Garde has ruled himself out of contention for the few F1 seats left on the market for 2011 after inking a deal to remain with the Barwa Addax team in the supporting GP2 Series.
Having considered several options in the top flight - and already been passed over in favour of Jerome d'Ambrosio at Marussia Virgin - the former World Series by Renault
champion has set his sights on following former team-mate - and 2011 Sauber F1 graduate - Sergio Perez by fighting for the GP2 title and setting out his stall to grand prix team owners as Pastor Maldonado
- and every previous GP2 champion except Giorgio Pantano - managed to do.
"I am happy to have cleared up next year's plans and would like to thank the Addax team for its confidence," van der Garde commented, "The GP2 Series will be racing with a brand-new chassis in 2011, which means everyone will start from scratch with the set-up of the car. A new chassis obviously brings a great challenge, so I am extremely motivated to fight for the championship and continue to work on my ultimate goal, which is to race in a competitive F1 seat."
Despite the disappointment of missing out on the second seat at Virgin, van der Garde recently admitted that he remained focused on chasing a possible F1 testing role for 2011. Having previously been connected to the likes of McLaren, Super Aguri and Spyker, the Dutchman was rumoured to be a contender for positions at Force India
and, thanks to a common sponsor, Williams
this season, and could still play a part in their plans regardless of his renewed GP2 commitments.
"I am extremely satisfied with Giedo's decision to stay with us for one more year," Addax team boss Alejandro Agag said, "I am absolutely convinced this is the right decision in order for him to make it to F1 in a competitive race seat.
"We have worked with Giedo for one year now and the relationship he has with all of the team personnel is great. The team loves him, and we are all extremely happy we will be together for one more year. I think, next year, Giedo will be an extraordinarily strong candidate to win the GP2 championship - and we have seen what has happened with this year's champion, who has landed a drive with Williams, one of F1's top teams. Barwa Addax will put all its efforts and talents behind Giedo in order to give him the maximum help to achieve his target."
Giedo will be supported by his main sponsors McGregor, Voicecash and Beelen.