Van der Garde: Case should wake-up call for F1 business ethics

Giedo van der Garde says he hopes his case acts as a wake-up call to the sport after many other drivers have had problems with teams – and not been in a position to fight back.

Several current drivers are owed money by teams (including Sauber), and for example it’s a matter of record that Timo Glock was one of the major creditors of Marussia.

Van der Garde is backed by powerful businessmen who were not willing to walk away without a fight, including father-in-law, Marcel Boekhoorn and manager Jeroen Schothorst.

Van der Garde has already been in touch with GPDA boss Alex Wurz on the subject.

“I would like to direct a few words to the teams, drivers, future drivers, their managers and the Formula One governing bodies,” said Van der Garde. “I sincerely hope that what has happened to me will start a movement aimed at setting new standards and bringing about new regulations to help protect the rights of drivers. I would like to think that the values and business ethics that apply in any other business should be equally applicable in Formula One.

“I am lucky to have had Marcel and Jeroen on my side. Both of them have extensive backgrounds in business and bring a lot of expertise to the table when it comes to resolving complicated business affairs. Without them, I would have remained empty-handed in the wake of this extraordinary affair.

“There are numerous examples of talented drivers with good intentions but without the sort of professional support that I have had, who have been broken by Formula One and who have seen their careers destroyed. I therefore hope that my unprecedented case which was heard last week by the Supreme Court of Victoria at Melbourne will serve as an example to illustrate what should change, and that new regulations will be implemented to help protect driver rights.”


Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

16 responses to “Van der Garde: Case should wake-up call for F1 business ethics

  1. Peterg

    If I recall, Kimi’s salary payments at Lotus were seriously in arrears at one stage. GVDG clearly got screwed, but what’s worse is Sauber thought they could get away with it, even when confronted, their comments about safety bordered on slander and defamation of GVDG.

    I’m not convinced this is over, Nasr clearly has stumped up a huge wedge, as has Ericsson. Their management and sponsors may have been misled regarding the teams contractual obligations and finances.

    • Dennis

      I think Kimi’s salary was a little different: They simply ran out of money.

      In Saubers case, it seems they decided to just ignore van derGarde and Sutils existing contract, which in VdG’s case already had cost him a season (AFAIK he agreed to be test driver last season on the promise of gettng a race seat this season). This essentially means that VdG has probably had his F1 career robbed from him.

      Unless there is a _very_ good explanation for that, someone should really be going to jail for fraud.

  2. Steve W

    Just curious… Does the European Union have any say in matters like this?

  3. Eric

    Sauber is paying the price for it, from being a decent and well run team they have transformed into a untrust worthy team which will catch up with them in due time. No sponsor wants to be associated with bad publicity.

  4. Adam

    Respect to Giedo. If Bottas is unable to compete in Malaysia and Susie Wolff is not being considered (she should be) Williams could do a lot worse than signing him on a no points no fee deal.

  5. In the summer of 2014 he paid in advance for the 2015 season. With that money Sauber was able to pay their workers and build a great car for 2015. As a reward for this act of humanity Giedo got kicked out by Mrs. Kaltenborn. One F1 career in shambles and two careers on a high. But even so I bet Giedo would prefer to drive in this car than collecting 15 million euros

  6. LRM

    Monisha should be relegated to the dustbin: and shame on Peter Sauber for standing behind her.

  7. Peter Kakkoufas

    Yes so True . Big Fish eats little fish . But in this case little fish was really good at swimming against the tide . Big fish realised little fish was biting where it hurt in public and with new Deal ( SIA) to make Big Fish hangout withe the Bigger Fish , they paid little fish to hangout elsewhere .
    So if you don’t succeed be a pest but make sure you have crossed the T and dotted the I first 🐟

  8. Its not just the drivers that are the victims of the way F1 currently operates. Everyone is in a far worse off position at the end of the year bar the winning team, and some hedge fund that really couldn’t give a toss about the sport, nor its 65 year history.

    Irrespective of whether Bernie is running the sport now, and whom will replace him, the big issue lies with the fact that a portion of the sport is owned by an investment bank. For as long as that remains the case, their financial goals will trump any and all goals of the sport. Me personally, Id love to be able to line up in 50 years time to watch F1, but if the current environment is anything to go by I don’t see that being the case.

    The sport is broken and needs to be fixed. Sadly however, that will not occur. When you are Williams, Mercedes, McLaren, Red Bull or Ferrari why would you vote in favour of cost control and a better distribution of prizemoney when you already have an agreement to receive money from Bernie just for showing up , before any prize money is distributed?

    From a personal perspective I must say I am very close to throwing in the towel with this sport. I’ve followed it for 25 years, have volunteered, have even moved to the UK to further my career in sports but it is at the point where there is so much ego and politics involved in F1 that going down such a route would be a waste of my time – I have better things to do with my life. There seems to be more of a fixation of one-upping the person next to you in F1, as opposed to moving the sport forwards as one in todays very competitive sporting world.

    The cost of Tamara Ecclestones bathtub would have covered Kvyats 2014 salary for 4 seasons. The costs of both of Bernies daughters weddings would have funded Caterhams crowdfunding 12 times over! Is this not glaringly obvious – everyone is going poor, bar Ecclestone/CVC.

    July 2000 – Ecclestone purchases 100 year rights to sport for roughly 1 years income. To me, one of the darkest days in the sport.

    • One

      In order for someone to justify his wrong doing at supermarket stealing some sweets,, most children do say, “because he did it too”, or “mama gave me too little money” or even “I spend all my money yesterday”.

  9. One

    I thought that FIA has introduced licence system for the team owners, leaders. This is a potential issue by which Formula 1 can be damaged. Bad business, running over business contract, ignoring court order, still refusig to recognize what she has done. More over isn’t this a case that female business person can feel somewhat troubled?

  10. Bassman

    One of the things that baffles me about the case is the Superlicense. Simply put, why should a driver need a valid contract with a team before they can get a license?

    Last week, Bottas (who is a great driver BTW) was unable to race due to an injury. If Williams wanted to place Mark Webber or Schumacher (hopefully, he gets better) in the car, does anyone doubt that they are qualified to race?

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