The Giedo van der Garde v Sauber case will drag into Thursday after Sauber submitted an appeal.
This morning Justice Croft handed down a judgement in favour of Van der Garde, in effect demanding that Sauber put him in the car. He also noted that it “applies to the whole of the 2015 Formula 1 season – not just in relation to the coming few days in Melbourne for the Australian GP.”
Sauber then submitted an appeal which led to a hurriedly convened Court of Appeal hearing this afternoon, presided over by Justices Beach, Whelan and Ferguson.
They hadn’t had much time to learn about the case and were not very familiar with the way F1 works, and after a brief discussion, mainly involving Sauber’s lawyer Rodney Garrett, they decided to await submissions from those involved and reconvene at 9.30am on Thursday.
That delay starts to make things even more complicated in terms of getting van der Garde fully prepared to drive should the Swiss team finally accept that it has no choice.
Garrett repeated his safety arguments today – on the basis that it takes two weeks to get a driver fitted for the car.
The judges were intrigued to know how the sport is governed, and were told it was by the FIA. In response to the discussion about safety, the judges made the point that whatever they decided might be irrelevant if the FIA wasn’t happy.
Justice Whelan made a logical suggestion to Garrett: “I don’t really understand why the FIA can’t come along and tell us what the situation is regarding safety.”
Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr were represented in court, their lawyer noting that “My clients are expecting to drive. However neither driver, nor anyone from Sauber, was present in person.
Thursday could be a long day as the judges decided that those representing Van der Garde will have two hours to state their case, those representing Ericsson and Nasr half an hour, and Sauber one and a half hours.