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Van der Garde still in running for Virgin seat

Giedo van der Garde might still be in the running for the Virgin seat alongside Timo Glock in 2011.

Last week, it emerged that Belgian Jerome d’Ambrosio’s hopes had advanced so far that he only needed the approval of team partner Marussia to secure the race seat.

But Dutchman van der Garde, whose manager Jan Paul ten Hoopen is also commercial director of the fashion brand McGregor, has also been strongly linked with Virgin for 2011.

“Giedo is ready,” said ten Hoopen.  “We hope that a decision is taken for Christmas.”

The magazine formule1.nl reports that Lucas di Grassi, the seat’s 2010 occupant, also stands a chance of staying at Virgin.

Ten Hoopen denies that money alone will determine the victor.

“Teams look at three things: speed, potential and budget,” he insisted.

“It’s not like the one with the most money automatically gets the spot.  Giedo has developed enormously in recent years and is thus an attractive partner for a team,” he added.

“The plan we set out has largely been realised: champion in the Renault World Series, a good debut in GP2 with a top classification and some wins, and in the second year champion.

“The latter didn’t quite work out for various reasons not only under Giedo’s control.

“He is right when he said going into formula one will be difficult, but we do believe that he has a chance,” added van der Garde’s manager.

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