Dutch media have reported that Sauber reserve driver Giedo van der Garde is close to a 2015 race seat with the team, and the potential exists he could be making his return to the grid even later this year.
Per the Dutch Algemeen Dagblad and Formule 1, “sources” indicate a deal is already done.
“The Swiss private team is in desperate need of money,” the Algemeen Daglbad paper said. “The financial distress is to the point that some employees seem not to have been paid in months.
“It is an open secret that he (van der Garde) has some wealthy sponsors.”
Van der Garde has made six appearances in free practice one this season, and is currently among five drivers battling over the two Sauber seats in 2015.
Incumbents Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez have struggled through a point-less season to date. Additional test drivers Sergey Sirotkin and Simona de Silvestro are also angling for seats, with de Silvestro having had several highly publicized tests this season.
Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.
Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.
Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.
A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.
A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.
Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.