Tag: Giedo van der Garde

F1: Sauber and Van der Garde end bitter dispute

Dutch driver Giedo van der Garde admits his “future in Formula One is probably over” after reaching a settlement with Sauber to resolve their bitter legal dispute.

Van der Garde took Sauber to courts in Switzerland and Australia over his belief he had a contract to race for the team in 2015. In the days before the Australian Grand Prix the Supreme Court of Victoria found that Van der Garde was entitled to race at the season-opening race in Melbourne, but both parties came to an agreement ahead of Sunday’s event to allow Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson to compete for Sauber.

On Wednesday Van der Garde confirmed via his Facebook page the matter has been resolved and his 2015 contract ended by mutual consent. The Dutch driver, who drove for Caterham in 2013, says he felt well within his rights to take the team to court to pursue the career he always dreamed of.

“As a passionate race driver, I feel sad and am very disappointed,” Van der Garde’s statement said. “I have worked very hard my entire career, ever since starting with go-karts at the age of eight, to live my dream and become a successful Formula One driver. I had hoped at last to be able to show what I am capable of, driving a car for a respected midfield team in the 2015 season. This dream has been taken away from me and I know that my future in Formula One is probably over.”

Remarkably, Van der Garde says Sauber has his own sponsors to thank for its continued existence in the sport.

“There has been a lot of speculation in the media over the past week, so I want to set out clearly that my sponsors paid the sponsorship fee related to the 2015 season in its entirety to Sauber in the first half of 2014. This was simply in good faith and to help the team deal with its cash problems at the time. Effectively, it was my sponsor’s advanced payments that helped the team survive in 2014.

“Sauber’s financial decision-making in this case is bizarre and makes no sense to me. I am not at liberty to discuss details, but Sauber paid significant compensation to avoid honouring the contract they had with me. Only in that respect can I be satisfied that my rights have finally been recognised and that at least some justice has been done.”

Van der Garde says he came to an agreement not to drive at the Australian Grand Prix because he feared the ramifications for Sauber, though he did take a swipe at team principal Monisha Kaltenborn.

“I am a race driver and all I want is to race. However, the team principal was adamant not to let me drive, notwithstanding my legal rights to do so and a series of rulings and court orders in my favour and despite my race driving abilities. I will never understand this. I could have persisted, but the team principal had taken a decision contrary to my contract that she would not work with me and this became painfully clear in the paddock in Melbourne.

“To push on against this determination might have brought down the team, it would most certainly have wrecked the opening Grand Prix in Melbourne because the team´s cars would have been seized by the court, it may have ruined the careers of two young drivers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr. Possibly the team´s directors would even be taken into custody. I decided I did not want to live with that idea, even though it was only the team’s management that was responsible for the bizarre situation I found myself in.”

The Dutchman says he now has his eye on competing in the World Endurance Championship and the illustrious Le Mans 24 Hours.

Read more at ESPN

F1: Van der Garde and Sauber set to reach financial settlement

Giedo van der Garde’s case against the Sauber Formula One team looks set to come to a conclusion in the next couple of days after the parties finalised a settlement.

The Dutchman and the Swiss squad were embroiled in a legal battle during the Australian Grand Prix weekend, as he claimed he was unfairly ditched by the team when he had a contract to race in 2015.

An Australian court ruled in favour of the driver, but the case was dropped as both parties agreed to talk and Sauber stuck to its original plan of running Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson.

Now the case is set to come to an end, with Sauber agreeing to pay van der Gard a big sum of money.

Motorsport.com understands that the figure involved is €15m, a substantial sum given the obvious financial predicament of the team.

Despite the legal problems, Sauber enjoyed a very positive grand prix in Melbourne, with Nasr finishing in fifth and Ericsson in eighth.

The team is currently third in the constructors’ championship, just one point behind Ferrari.

Read more at motorsport.com

F1: Sauber lose appeal over Giedo van der Garde ruling

Sauber have failed in an appeal to overturn a court ruling that says Giedo van der Garde should race for the team at Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix.

Van der Garde, 29, a former test driver for Sauber, says he was promised a race seat for this season, a claim backed by the Victoria Supreme Court this week.

Three appeal judges ruled against the team on Thursday, clearing the way for the Dutchman to compete this weekend.

Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr are the team’s nominated drivers for 2015.

“The appeal is dismissed because we see no error in the reasoning of the trial judge,” the head of the appeals panel said.

Sauber were also ordered to pay Van der Garde’s legal costs.

Speaking outside court, Van der Garde said: “Sauber has to work with us now. There is no other issue.”

It is unclear whether Sauber will drop one of their current drivers to accommodate Van der Garde in Melbourne this weekend, or race with Ericsson and Nasr and risk contempt of court.

BBC Radio 5 live commentator James Allen says current rumours in the Melbourne paddock indicate Swedish driver Ericsson would be the man to step aside should Van der Garde drive.

Prior to launching their failed appeal, Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said letting Van der Garde race at such short notice – in a car designed for Ericsson or rookie Nasr – would be unsafe.

“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 said.

Van der Garde must still acquire a valid super-licence – required for any driver to compete in F1 – if he hopes to compete this weekend, as last season’s has now expired and has not been renewed.

His application must go through the motorsport authorities in his native Netherlands, who in turn must apply to the sport’s world governing body, the FIA, but Van der Garde is confident of pushing the paperwork through in time.

Read more at BBC Sport