The three court of appeal judges have dismissed Sauber’s appeal against the judgement made on Wednesday in favour of Giedo van der Garde – but the saga is far from over.
In confirming the dismissal Justice Whelan said it was “because we see no error in the reasons of the trial judge.”
The court action did not end there as Giedo van der Garde’s lawyers immediately launched another action in order to force the team to comply. This was a Contempt of Court Application, which in essence refers to the fact that the team has not yet complied with the order to allow Van der Garde to race, or taken any steps to make it happen.
The contempt action will now be heard by Justice Croft – who dealt with the original case – at 1030am on Friday, just two hours before practice is due to start. If he deems that Sauber is in contempt by not complying with the ruling, a sequestration order will probably follow. This could lead to the seizure of Sauber’s assets in Australia, in other words the equipment it has in the paddock.
As a starting point the judge agreed to a request from van der Garde’s lawyer to provide a full and detailed list of that equipment, and its location, by later tonight.
In addition there could be action against Monisha Kaltenborn as a director of the company. Van der Garde’s lawyer even hinted in dramatic fashion that it could lead to prison – and then added that would be a last resort.
He also explained at length how the Van der Garde camp had made a series of requests to Sauber – relating to the driver’s passes, his overalls and so on – and none of it had been complied with.
He also referred to a press release issued by Sauber yesterday in which Kaltenborn raised safety concerns, saying that it was “clearly calculated to make it difficult for our client to participate.”