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Van der Garde looking forward to rejoining Sauber

  • Published on 11 Mar 2015 15:01
  • comments 5
  • By: Rob Veenstra
Giedo van der Garde on Wednesday declared himself "happy, fit and ready to drive" this weekend in Melbourne. A local court has ruled that the Dutchman can take his place at Sauber this year, after the Swiss team signed him but then replaced him with Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.

The ruling is devastating news for Sauber, after the team almost collapsed late last year and only immediate sponsor payments from Ericsson and Nasr kept it afloat. In Monday's hearing, the team's lawyer said letting van der Garde drive in Melbourne was a safety risk, given that all the testing and car modifications have been made with a different pair of drivers in mind.

But the judge on Wednesday declared that van der Garde's application had been successful due to the law. "We are disappointed with this decision," said team boss and co-owner Monisha Kaltenborn, "and now need to take time to understand what it means and the impact it will have on the start of our season. What we cannot do is jeopardise the safety of our team, or any other driver on the track, by having an unprepared driver in a car that has now been tailored to two other assigned drivers," she added.

29-year-old van der Garde, however, who is backed by his father-in-law Marcel Boekhoorn's McGregor fashion brand, said he is ready to step into the C34 straight away. "I'm looking forward to going back to the team, work hard and do our best for the weekend," he told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday.

Van der Garde denied Sauber's claim that he is "unprepared" for Melbourne. "No, not at all. I'm the fittest ever," he insisted. "I've been training the last three months flat out. I'm looking forward to going back to the team. I had a very good relationship - I still have a very good relationship - with the team."

He said he doesn't know if Sauber will vacate Ericsson or Nasr's seat for him. "Well, I think it's up to them what they're going to do. "It's not my thing," said van der Garde. He said he would be at the Albert Park circuit later on Wednesday. (GMM)

Replies (5)

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  • Monisha & co. had all winter, while Van der Gard and his lawyers proceeded openly on his legal demands, to "understand what it means and the impact it will have on the start of our season." So, in lawyer-speak this can be translated only as: ". . . while we try to figure out what else we can to to stall this outcome." But he has Sauber over a barrel now, with its new sponsors & new car livery tied to different drivers, and the risk of them suing if they now get bumped. (Adrian Sutil, too, if Van der Gard's victory also re-energizes him.)

    The best review & analysis I've seen of this mess is "Monisha's mistake" at FORMULASPY.

    • + 0
    • Mar 11 2015 - 15:54
  • khasmir

    Posts: 893

    What a mess Sauber have gotten themselves into. Talking about being stuck between a rock and a hard place... Whatever they do, the result will be more legal action from either van der Garde or Nasr and Ericsson.
    I'm pretty sure they know they are screwed, hence the weak defense claiming it is a safety risk to let VDG drive. They knew very well what they were doing so now they have to suffer the consequences.
    But it's strange that the court ruling does not mention any consequences if Sauber does not let VDG get into the car. You would expect them having to pay compensation for every race they don't let VDG drive. But I can imagine that he (VDG) doesn't care about compensation and just wants to drive. Can you blame him!?

    • + 0
    • Mar 11 2015 - 17:47
  • I'm with those who doubt that Giedo will ever drive again for Sauber - or actually wants to. Monisha is going to be very bad company after the Aussie Supreme Court's appellant verdict tomorrow in his favor. F1 driving for mid-field teams seems stressful enough under typical conditions. Hers is going to be messed up good, and she'll be looking for someone to take it out on, if Sauber has to side-line or lay-off one of the current preferred drivers (with rich sponsor) in order to allow VDG to drive under court order. That is, assuming that they could even have his seat liner installed by Sunday. VDG will take money for a driver's stake with some other team. After all, he has lawyer(s) to pay, now.

    • + 0
    • Mar 11 2015 - 20:33
  • guidoF1

    Posts: 898

    Lets drive giedo drive...

    • + 0
    • Mar 11 2015 - 23:02
  • Okay, he won again - for keeps (at least in Australia).

    The next move is his - not Monisha's. The police will padlock her garage if he wants to drive, gets the Super License that he's missing (father-in-law is a billionaire so that shouldn't be a problem) and she prevents him from driving with full pit and garage support in P, Q and the race on Sunday.

    • + 0
    • Mar 12 2015 - 08:28

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