Sauber: Risk of “physical harm or even death” if Van der Garde races

Sauber has used the issue of safety in its desperate fight to stop Giedo van der Garde from racing its car in the Australian GP.

The team has been in a court case in Melbourne today. Van der Garde won an arbitration judgement in Switzerland last week, and in essence the case is about that judgement being upheld in Australia.

As reported by Radio Australia, Sauber’s lawyer Rodney Garrett said that Van der Garde was not covered by the team’s insurance and brought up the question of safety of spectators at the event. He claimed that the C34 was custom built for Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson, and there were issues about seats and seat belts.

Garrett said: “Sauber could not allow him to race… it would be reckless and dangerous to do otherwise. It would result in an unacceptable risk of physical harm or even death.”

Readers may recall that in 2011 Pedro de la Rosa stepped into the Sauber on Friday lunchtime in Montreal after Sergio Perez was declared unfit…

Drivers jumping into cars with no testing and compromised seats is part of F1. It might concern the FIA that a team has chosen to link it to safety – and even death – in a court of law.

The judgement has been deferred until 10am on Wednesday.

10 Comments

Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

10 responses to “Sauber: Risk of “physical harm or even death” if Van der Garde races

  1. Sauber is really clutching straws are they?

  2. Mick

    This could be heading towards a car sat in the garage if van der Garde wins but Sauber have deliberately not prepared a seat or let him get familiar with the car. If what I have read about the agreement he had last year are true, i’ve got a lot of sympathy for his position.

  3. He does have a valid contract as a racing driver for Sauber since june 2014, so he defends his contract.

  4. With signing Nasr and Ericsson the Swiss team has collected about 40 million euros and they must have thought troubles were over. I’m afraid those dreams are in vain. Lifting the option on Van der Garde (june 2014) to drive for them in 2015 was a major childish blooper. I think there are three options. Giedo will drive or Giedo will get paid back or Australian police will pay a visit to the Sauber pitbox. My bet is on option number 2

  5. I’m actually a bit shocked at the arguments sauber are using.We were led to beleive that sauber ‘were on strong legal ground’ when they dropped this driver.Now they are using these idiotic excuses?! They cant adjust seatbelts and tweak their insurance policy??Of course they can! They just dont want to.
    Hell,even the hardest technical part- that of making a seat for VdG- even that can be accomplished in a matter of days

  6. I said last week that Sauber should have negotiated a settlement before the case came to court. Yesterday’s hearing will not have helped their cause. Either their local lawyer was badly briefed, or Sauber has no case, or he is utterly inept. The arguments being advanced seemed like variants on “Your honour, we erred, but we cannot correct the error now because “.
    The fact that Marcus Ericsson, Felipe Nasr and their lawyers showed up in court is instructive. They are clearly not confident in Sauber’s legal position, and they are already publicly positioning to protect their own interests.

  7. GeorgeK

    First time for everything, isn’t it? Regardless of the outcome, if any of the drivers cannot race they will seek cash refunds and with no cash available will the team then go into administration?

    I can see Sauber parking the cars in Australia until this can be resolved.
    If it wasn’t so sad it would be laughable.

  8. Melonfarmer

    Jaime Alguesauri might beg to differ having been dropped into Toro Rosso when Bourdais was bounced out. Kobayashi started the Japanese GP in 2009 after only running on the Saturday when Glock was injured. Not exactly case law, but you know what I mean.

    vd Garde has a whole season at Caterham to rely on. Sauber’s defense is laughable and is relying on the Judge not being a racing fan.

    They should just admit they got a better offer and pay vdG off out of Ericsson or Nasr’s sponsorship funds. Are Sauber bringing F1 into disrepute?

  9. Zanquis

    I find it hard to believe the Sauber claim that they only survived because of Nasr and Ericsson money. I am sure it would have been possible with any of those combination. And the sympathy card does not work with me because by locking up more drivers then they can have they have also made it harder for Manor and Caterham. I see no comments about sympathy to those teams and their personal that Kaltenburg got out of a job.

  10. Matt

    What a horrible load of crap – it’ll take VdG’s lawyers less than two minutes to bring up the point about reserve drivers and the Pedro de la Rosa scenario.

    This is now becoming an international embarassment – no one is going to believe these made up stories by Sauber and they’re damaging their credibility by the day.

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