Giedo van der Garde appears to have given up on any Formula One aspirations he may have had with Force India, after revealing that he will return to the World Series by Renault for a second season.
The Dutchman had been on the list of candidates likely to partner Adrian Sutil at the renamed Silverstone-based team this season, but figured that, with Giancarlo Fisichella, Tonio Liuzzi and Christian Klien also in the running, his chances of graduating were slim, and inked a deal with Roly Vincini's P1 Motorsport team instead.
van der Garde enjoyed two strong days with P1 in Valencia towards the end of 2007 and kept in touch with Vincini despite harbouring his F1 hopes, before eventually signing to return to the junior series for a second year.
"I am very proud to announce that I have signed a contract with P1 Motorsport," he confirmed on his personal website, "It was a very difficult decision because I had several options in World Series, as well as GP2, but the two test days in Valencia convinced me.
"It was my personal decision to make this step, as I want to win again and I am convinced that I can achieve this with P1 Motorsport. The team is very professional and ambitious, and the set-up of the race car fits me perfectly. That's why we were very quick during testing.
"I have only one goal and that is winning the World Series by Renault in 2008. I'd like to thank the team and my management for the support in recent months and I am looking forward to the first race."
Vincini ran Fairuz Fauzy and Pippa Mann under the Cram by P1 banner last season, and attracted interest from a number of drivers during the post-season test sessions, before making van der Garde his first signing of 2008.
"P1 Motorsport has the ambition to win the World Series by Renault, and we can only achieve this by hiring the best available race driver," he stressed, "We need raw speed and Giedo brings not only talent but also a lot of experience.
"He did a great job last season, but he has also been testing a lot for Force India F1. The test in Valencia showed that Giedo and P1 are a winning team, and we are very happy and proud to announce Giedo as our first driver for our 2008 campaign. We are looking forward to the first race and promise the fans an exciting season."