Monisha Kaltenborn: “We are disappointed with this decision…”

Sauber has responded to the Giedo van Garde verdict by once again bringing up the safety argument in relation to how prepared the Dutchman is.

In a statement the team said “the outcome is unfortunately not as expected.”

Monisha Kaltenborn added: “We are disappointed with this decision 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.”

The team said that “further details will be published at a later stage.”


Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

12 responses to “Monisha Kaltenborn: “We are disappointed with this decision…”

  1. Matt

    And she’s STILL spouting out this crap about ‘safety’??

    OK, I’ve entirely lost respect for Kaltenborn and Sauber. What an embarrassment.

    • Brian

      I totally agree. The damage this is doing to the to their hard-earned positive image just isn’t worth it. If this is the kind of crap they spout to Bernie and the other teams as they cry about money, then no wonder they get blown off. Wow.

    • proesterchen


      Sauber has been constantly shooting themselves in the foot under the current leadership. See: Russian dreams and selling test days to the nuclear subsidies lobby.

      • Maarten

        +1 here as well. I think the only credible defense is that they were in financial trouble and they needed higher paying drivers and that they offered a big part of the money back (as he hasn’t driven that much last year anyway) and be on their way. That was the only credible defense I would have understood.

  2. peterg

    The car has been “tailored ‘to two other drivers?………………So if Vettel or Alonso were available Sauber would decline their services on the grounds of safety?

    Sauber stiffed the Dutchman because two other drivers were prepared to pay a larger figure than he could, simple. Previously in F1, contracts were not worth the paper they were written on, hence the establishment of the contracts recognition board, although van Garde seems to have done this through the courts. I had assumed (incorrectly) he was asking to be paid a fee to walk away, I did realise it was his intention to compete in a team where he may not be really welcome.

    • petes

      I’d assumed the same; had hoped he was looking for a payout to enable him to go elsewhere and if Sauber couldn’t stump up and had to sit out as a team, then to bad, tough.

      • Ben Shannon

        This is so stupid. When mark Webber went to Williams he was too tall for the car and had to race without a seat and this caused him to get burns during races. What about testing…susie Wolff tests one day, Bottas in the car the next day. There must be some adjusting or the car going on. It clearly doesn’t take that long.

    • Gert

      Welcome is overrated in this F1 world, his father in-law is backing him with $$ and that will heal most wounds 🙂

  3. P1_Chris

    If she’s falling back on the ‘safety’ argument, she’s got nothing else.

    What about Will Stevens and Merhi? Should they not be allowed to race? I don’t recall there being any seat time for those two this season. Talk about putting other drivers in jeopardy…

  4. If the car isn’t safe for VDG, then the FIA will mandate it remains in the pits for the weekend. The seat is still his, by contract, regardless of the danger of occupying it. Failing to prepare his car properly for his safety doesn’t mean Sauber gets to put someone else in that seat.

    That said, I don’t think VDG expects to drive the car. Until he misses the race start with someone else in the cockpit, Sauber probably isn’t in complete violation of the contract. By being ready, willing, and able to drive, it just gives him ammunition for the lawsuit for breach of contract and damages that will come after he’s not racing in the seat that’s contractually his.

    Theoretically, if Sauber puts him in the car Sunday, they’re upholding the contract… though they’ll be in hot water with one of the other two driver’s contracts. But I can’t see any situation with 3 contracts and 2 seats that VDG would be in the car this season. Once the contract is breached, he’ll sue and give up the facade of eagerness to drive for Sauber.

  5. Steve

    “What we cannot do is jeopardise the safety of our sponsorship, or any other sponsorship on the track, by having an unsponsored driver in a car that has now been tailored to two other assigned sponsors”

  6. Ben

    With this ‘safety’ argument you could stop the entire Manor team from taking part… What a load of BS

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