Sauber’s legal mess with former reserve driver Giedo van der Garde is due to wrap up at 4.30pm today [AEST] and we will soon find out which two drivers will be taking to the track this weekend.
Both Marcus Ercisson and Felipe Nasr have reason to worry as neither of their seats is safe. If forced to run Van der Garde this weekend the driver stepping aside will be the driver bringing less money for the team.
However the saga is far from over, as Sauber’s protest against the initial ruling was heard this morning in the Victorian Supreme Court. Using a new argument – rather than the poor safety defence they initially ran with – Sauber’s lawyer pointed out that Van der Garde doesn’t currently hold an FIA Superlicense.
This puts a spanner in the works for the Dutchman because even though Van der Garde won’t have any trouble attaining a Superlicense, the process takes 14 days which means he will miss this weekend’s Grand Prix in Melbourne.
“It’s never going to be a pleasant environment is it when the team wanted to have another driver, but it is what it is. There’s legal process there, there’s also the contract recognition board (CRA) – which is in Geneva – specifically to look over driver contracts. So I’m surprised it’s come as far as it has, but it’s another twist in the tale of the politics of Formula 1,” former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard told RF1.
“There are clearly two drivers that Sauber has entered before coming here (Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson) They feel are able to bring more money to the team after having a really difficult season, but you know you can’t just go breaking contracts so the legal process will prevail.”
Images via Inagist and George Hitchens Photography