Van der Garde case drags into Thursday as Sauber appeal continues

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.

3 Comments

Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

3 responses to “Van der Garde case drags into Thursday as Sauber appeal continues

  1. Maarten

    Even though I understand the predicament Sauber had gotten itself into because of their finances…..and even though I am Dutch, I don’t particularly care for Giedo…but you know it’s bollocks to call it unsafe to put Giedo in the car. Sauber clearly have forgotten their own past in snubbing Gutierrez in favour of de la Rosa and decided to put him in their car just hours before FP1 in Canada 2011 (Pedro at the time also had 0 experience with either their car or its engine)….the whole Manor F1 team hasn’t even tested the car at all and they are going to run 2 drivers with less experience than Giedo. So the safety argument is utter BS. Even based on the recent past it can be argued that Giedo is a safer driver than Nasr.

    On top of that, it serves as a good reminder for the teams that even tough someone is a pay driver. It does not give them the right to just say f. you and that even F1 lives in the real world, where mistakes can have real legal consequences! In none of their court defences (in Melbourne at least) have I read that they put forward that they were in financial ruins and they just needed the money (because I understand and sympathise with that) to have the team survive. So even that argument seems to have no legal merits in this case otherwise they could have used that in court as well. Even a judge would be sympathetic to the survival and employment of a team of 300+ people versus 1 driver. So their financial issues that arose from the loss of Bianchi is maybe arguable at best.

    So in conclusion and as you said yourself there is only one to blame for this and that is Sauber themselves. I am very curious to see if Peter is going to step in again and what the future of Monisha is going to be….

  2. What’s your take on all this, Adam?

  3. Richard K

    Thanks for the detailed coverage here and on Twitter!

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