Giedo and Sauber reach détente

The legal dram between Sauber and former reserve driver Giedo van der Garde is now over or at least reached a point in negotiations to halt proceedings at this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix in favor of working out a deal at a later date. The van der Garde camp said:

“With respect to the interest of motorsport, and F1 in particular, I have decided to give up my legal rights to race this weekend at the Melbourne Grand Prix.

“As I am a passionate race driver this decision has been very difficult for me. However, I also wish to respect the interest of the FIA, Sauber Motorsport, as well as Nasr and Ericsson.

“My management will continue talks with Sauber early next week to find a mutually acceptable solution for the current situation.

“I am confident such solution will be found and I will inform the media once done.”

That’s usually the kind of statement that one makes in F1 after commercial rights boss Bernie Ecclestone gets ahold of them but for Sauber’s part, they say:

“The Sauber F1 Team can confirm it has been able to agree with Mr. Giedo Van der Garde that he refrains from driving in the Australian Formula One Grand Prix so it can keep its original planning. The Sauber F1 Team, Mr. Van der Garde and his management will continue to have constructive talks in order to find a mutually acceptable solution. The Sauber F1 Team is here to race in the Australian Formula One Grand Prix and that is what the team is now focusing on. In the course of next week we will be able to give more information.”

The courtroom drama was becoming the singular storyline this weekend and taking awayf rom the real story which is the start of the 2015 season in which seemingly it will end up as a lonely dual between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg for the title. Perhaps Giedo’s attorney’s could turn their focus on cost reduction in F1 or maybe even helping McLaren sort their Honda engine woes.

Hat Tip: Adam Cooper

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So, Giedo spoke up about the settlement on his facebook page, and one bit of info from there was especially interesting. According to news reports, the settlement was in the €15M region, and Giedo himself claims that a similar sum was paid by his backers in mid 2014, towards the 2015 drive, and that it was what kept the team running in the second half of 2014. That means the GvdG money is probably gone by now, so where did Sauber come up with €15M to pay him off? Well, this will all be speculation, but we know that Ericsson… Read more »