No issues with my superlicence, says Van der Garde

While the wheels of the court process continue to turn the practicalities of Giedo van der Garde driving a Sauber this weekend have come into focus.

One of the biggest question marks concerns his superlicence, as the FIA has a process that has to be followed. The team has to apply via the driver’s national sporting authority, and Sauber has failed to do that.

Also one of the conditions is that the Contracts Recognition Board is happy with the legal side. It was revealed in court today that Monisha Kaltenborn wrote to the CRB last week to tell them that Van der Garde’s contract had been terminated in February.

Unusually this letter came after the Swiss arbitration court judgement which is at the centre of this week’s proceedings, and which said that the Dutchman should drive. In effect that contract now has to be re-activated at the CRB, and any delay at this critical stage helps Sauber to stop van der Garde driving. A cynic might suggest that contacting the CRB last week was a clever tactic by the team…

Meanwhile it remains to be seen how cooperative the FIA will be. There have been instances in the past where superlicence applications have been rushed through in cases of force majeure.

Van der Garde remains confident that his superlicence can be fast tracked.

“I think so, it’s just a bit of paperwork now,” he told this writer after today’s court proceedings. “And Sauber has to help in filing it. So we’ll see in the next few hours what comes out. The good thing is it’s now early in Europe, so they’ll start working, and still have a whole day. That’s positive.”

He has already set the wheels in motion with the Dutch authorities – the KNAF – who are ready to help.

“Yeah, we’re pushing already for the last few days. Everything is in place, everything is there, the application. I don’t see any issues with the paperwork on my side. Sauber just has to push it.”

Regarding his seat he said: “I don’t see any issue with it. Even if they don’t have my [2014] seat there, it’s done very quickly, in three hours you have a foam seat. I think the mechanics they know very well how to do it, so I don’t see any issue with that.”

23 Comments

Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

23 responses to “No issues with my superlicence, says Van der Garde

  1. Adam, thanks for keeping us up to speed on this.

  2. CTP

    I love that the FIA is getting dragged into this… And will look like the ineffectual saps that they are…
    Meanwhile, it just keeps getting better and better for GVDG… Though whether he’ll actually get to drive is far from settled.

    • Stone the crows

      Maybe they’ll authorize three cars per team just so Sauber can give all of its drivers-even the ones they don’t want a seat.

  3. Gert

    I like the comments from Button and Perez, both took the side of vd Garde and said that contracts are contracts and that teams aren’t above the law. Finally a driver who stands up for his rights and refuses to be used in the teams desperate quest for money. Shame on Sauber, Kaltenborn (attorney herself!) and also the FIA for disgracing the sport.

  4. GeorgeK

    Contract breeches,multiple court rulings, equipment seizures, and super license questions: Could they possibly pile on more? How about the cars fail prerace scrutineering and NOBODY drives?

    I just don’t understand how Giedo can be so determined to force himself into a situation where he is clearly not wanted, regardless of the circumstances. And then try and put a happy face on it and think everything will be like nothing happened.

    Sauber owns the genesis of this problem by poor management and radically underestimating Giedo’s determination and financial resources to chase this down to the bitter end. And that’s how it will end, nothing but bitterness on all sides.

    • Gert

      George, I don’t agree. Both parties signed an agreement and were happy with it at the time. Then Sauber decided to go with 2 different drivers because they would bring in more sponsor money. I fully understand that vd Garde is claiming his seat and respect him for that. The Formula One scene has been thinking they are above the law for decades and it’s disrespectful to any party. Sauber will not let him drive this weekend but will have to face the legal consequences like any other business or person would who’s lost all appeals.

      • GeorgeK

        Gert, I fully acknowledge GvdG as the aggrieved party in this FIAsco, but the normal settlement in these affairs would be a cash restitution.

        I think it’s totally insane that he thinks the team should take him back and all will be well in the end. Runs counter to human nature.

    • goothe

      It’s more behind this than just a race seat, Marcel Boekhoorn wants the whole team. The perfect hostile takeover and it was planned from day one.

      • Gert

        That’s what I wrote, but remember, you need 2 to tango and if Sauber would comply his entire hostile takeover scheme would fall apart.

    • Stone the crows

      Yes, quite. Talk about a ‘hot’ seat to be in, as much as any driver would want a Formula 1 drive, how in the world do you walk into the Sauber garage and go about your business after all of this? I was expecting some sort of financial settlement and all parties would walk away. But this is the opposite of a divorce, Giedo’s side is expecting the courts to force them back together. On the up side this mess will get attention of the other teams and they’ll take a bit more care when they tell a driver their services are no longer required.

    • petes

      George let’s just suppose that early 2014 Giedo was negotiating with Sauber for the ride (he subsequently got) @ $xxx and during those negotiations let out he’d like a full time ride 2015 to which he got the response ‘increase your package from $xxx to $+++, you’ve got both’?
      Would be reasonable for him to act as he has done.

    • Gert

      George, he needs to show that he’s willing to keep up his side of the contract and therefore he’s ready to drive the Sauber. It’s just legal mambo jambo, Sauber doesn’t have any money to pay him or any other (Sutil) a “Go away and stay away” bonus….

  5. X

    Meanwhile, Saward claims VDG has no licence and it’s his fault:

    https://joesaward.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/oops/

    I am confused, who is right here? Did VDG really miss it or JS is wrong and that was Sauber sabotaging him?

    • It appears that VDG does not currently have a superlicence, because Sauber were supposed to apply for one but failed to do so, even though they knew he was a contracted driver. Saward claims that it will take a fortnight to procure, whereas pretty much everybody else reckons it can be fast tracked in a matter of hours – provided all parties are co-operative.

      And there’s the rub: how co-operative will Sauber be? Failure to fulfil their part of the process could, as I understand it, lead to them being in contempt of court, which would rapidly become a sticky situation for the team.

  6. PS: Congratulations to Adam for his superb reporting on this subject, and thanks for the many many tweets about the hearing.

  7. john w

    The determination GVDG legal team to enforce court orders immediately post the appeal rejection…seizure of goods…personal legal threats….demonstrates this was a strategy well planned….executed in a juristriction well known for its fairness…with the ultimate plan of seizing the team. Problem is..if they do get ownership of the cars and equipment in Australia…under custom bonds by the way…how will impact on the balance of the assets . There will be a resolution…bit I cant see Sauber surviving.
    John W

  8. One

    I just fail to see why Sauber is NOT helping GvdG to race this week end. Budget may be, but if not, if it were to become under control of court, their equipment will not be given back to the teams hands…

  9. JETWAKE

    Does any one know how the teams get paid? Someone wrote that Van Der Garde is 24 Million euros in debt. If he drives the Sauber car in Australia and scores one point, does he get a check? Does it come at the end of the season? It seems like a huge risk to drive an unknown car without a race engineer and a personal mechanic looking out for his personal safety for each race. Especially a poor team in complete chaos.

  10. Christopher

    Monisha is a pathetic person and anyone who claims,gvdg is wrong,should,remind themselves,that he was,up,against,a,lawyer and its clear,
    now she is tricky incapable and brings the whole team in danger with her actions and decisions. Time she leaves and pays for damages from her own pocket. Just sad she wrote the board the contract had been terminated while the court ruled otherwise.

    she put ostrich tactic and put her head in a big pile of sh*t. Wow know when u lost and know when to f*ck of. Her career,in F1 is over.

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