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.
Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost hopes to see sacked driver Daniil Kvyat return to Formula 1 in the near future, saying the Russian “deserves” a place on the grid.
Toro Rosso dropped Kvyat twice through the 2017 season due to poor form, with his final dismissal coming after the United States Grand Prix in October.
Kvyat is no longer part of Red Bull’s motorsport program and is exploring options both inside and outside of F1 for 2018, and Tost feels he could be energized by some time away before returning.
“I am still convinced that Daniil has a very high natural speed. He was sometimes even faster than Daniel Riccardo, but somehow last year and this year he couldn’t show the potential that is within him,” Tost told the official F1 website.
“He was involved in many incidents, but in his defence I also have to say that he had many reliability issues and that didn’t help build up confidence. Being the victim of too many incidents killed the performance he would have been able to show.
“Maybe a short break – to get organized again – and probably we will see Daniil back at his usual performance level with another team.
“Sometimes he was too aggressive at the beginning of the race. The first corner was his weak point. He wanted too much in the first hundred meters – success by any means!
“That puts you under pressure – unnecessary pressure – and that never works.
“I hope for him that he gets another chance, as I think he deserves to be in F1.”