Suing for a seat

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Surely there is a fine line between having a drive with a team and legally winning a drive with a team, no? That’s the position Giedo van der Garde finds himself in as F1 heads to Australia.

According to Australian reports, the Dutchman has filed a complaint with the Victoria’s Supreme Court claiming an offer was made to him for the drive in 2015 but the team reneged on the deal:

“In early November 20l4, Mr van de Garde was informed by Sauber’s Chief Executive Officer, Ms Monisha Kaltenborn, that Sauber’s two seats had been given to other drivers and that, as a consequence, Mr van der Garde would not have a place as a driver in the team in 2015,” the court documents claim.

“The Respondent was ordered to refrain from taking any action the effect of which would be to deprive Mr van der Garde of his entitlement to participate in the 2015 Formula One Season as one of Sauber’s two nominated race drivers,”

Van de Garde was not given the ride and at the time—last November—when the team was announcing its new drivers, the press was slightly confused as it seemed they had four drivers for two seats. Giedo van der Garde, Adrian Sutil, Felipe Nasr and Marcuss Ericsson that latter two who now are officially listed as Sauber’s drivers for 2015.

As Caterham slid into obscurity, it seems that Ericsson’s financial backing may have swayed the team away from van der Garde but regardless, would you want to be in a team that you had to legally fight your way on to? On the flip side, it’s not like he was being paid a salary and can sue for lost wages or damages very easily is it?

It’s a tough situation but maybe this legal action isn’t so much a demand for a drive so much as a public shaming that Sauber will pay to make go away. Van der Garde has already taken the case to arbitration in Switzerland and the ruling was that the team should retain him.


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