Giedo van der Garde’s victory in a Melbourne court today was an extraordinary outcome, and one that the Sauber team itself has admitted it didn’t expect. The fact is that the Australian legal system has backed up a judgement made in Switzerland last week and told Sauber that Van der Garde should race. How that impacts Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr, and what happens over the next 48 hours remains, to be seen. This writer had an exclusive chat with the Dutchman on the steps of the courthouse.
Q: This applies to Australia, but what about the other 18 countries?
“I think this is something else that the lawyers have to speak about and solve it. I’m just looking forward to start this weekend. Like I said before I had a very good relationship with the team, and I still have. I think the team made a very good step during the winter. I’m glad about it, I’m looking forward to working together again, and to do well this weekend.”
Q: You say you have a good relationship but it’s going to be a very strange atmosphere. Everyone’s wondering how a team can work with a driver they were fighting in court?
“I don’t see any problems because in the end we had a good year last year, not only the results [of testing], on a personal side it was very good. I don’t see any problems with it. On the other hand now we have to stick together, put our heads in the same direction, and push very hard to get our first points.”
Q: A lot of people don’t realise that you only found out about Felipe Nasr after the press release came out in Brazil last year. How bad was that?
“Well, I think it’s not a good thing to speak about it now. I’m happy with this news and I’m looking forward to getting back behind the wheel again. It’s been a while, so let’s focus on that.”
Q: And all that stuff about the seat and so on – obviously that can be sorted quickly.
“I think you know and other people know that it can be sorted out quite quickly. In three or four hours you’re done with the seat, and you have a proper seat for the weekend.”
Q: The team’s argument was that it needed the drivers with the biggest sponsorship, and the future was under threat. That’s obviously the bigger story, isn’t it?
“Well that has been discussed already, and in the end this went off from the table. I’m happy to win this case now. Let’s focus on the weekend.”
Q: And it’s important that in a case like this a driver has actually won? We’ve seen similar case in the past…
“Oh yeah, I’m happy with that…”