I’m not going to parrot the comments from Giedo van der Garde or Sauber’s Facebook pages because quite honestly, I don’t know all the details nor should I be spouting an opinion on something that may have many layers to it.
The fact is, there was a driver who had a contract and it created a legal storm in Australia. What if part of that legal issue involved Jules Bianchi coming to Sauber but that tragic incident forced many other factors into play? What if the team were forced to take up another paying driver in order to survive the 2014 season as well as get into 2015?
Point is, I have no way of knowing what the parameters were and Sauber, while being somewhat ham-fisted in their response today, certainly has their side of the story too. There is always three sides to every story, his, theirs and the truth.
What I will say is that paying drivers are a real critical component these days in Formula 1 and the supporters who put serious cash behind these drivers are very keen to make sure contracts are honored and stipulations met for their investment dollar.
Not long ago, Sir Jackie Stewart did deals with Ken Tyrrell with a handshake. My how times have changed. As I’ve opined before, there was a day when F1 was about the human and Stewart had a relationship with Ken who honored his commitments.
We can compromise on a lot of things in life but integrity isn’t one of them and as much as moral relativism is trying to tear down some long-standing notions of honor and integrity, Giedo seems to have forced a contractual obligation to its fullest while Sauber seem to have made moves that were clearly placing itself in deep legal waters. So there is a back-story here as no one knowingly puts himself or herself in a lawsuit if they can help it. That’s where gray areas come into play and then moral rectitude is questioned and justified. Who’s actions were right? Both?
The grand equalizer is always the truth and it isn’t Giedo’s truth or Sauber’s truth, it is the real truth. That, we may never know. As for the Giedo incident, I’m glad he’s compensated and I’m glad Sauber looks to be on the way back up the grid. I feel bad both parties had to endure this but perhaps this paying driver scenario will have a much more litigious look from here on out. This may not be the last of legal battles over seats in F1.