Dutch driver Giedo van der Garde has won his court case in the Supreme Court of Victoria, whereby legally he would be bound to race for Sauber in the season opening Australian Grand Prix.
He was the team’s reserve driver last year, but was left off the driving roster this year. He has since pursued legal action.
The ruling came down today from the Court, via Justice Clyde Croft. Official notice is posted below, and the judgment from the court is linked here:
Melbourne 7 court reporter Kate Jones has also provided a few updates of the case, and how the ruling came down:
Van der Garde told veteran F1 journalist Adam Cooper, via his blog: “It’s up to them what they are going to do, and up to the team. It’s not my thing. I’m happy that we won the case, and that we stand here. Now I’m looking forward to getting back to business.”
Sauber has now weighed in with a statement from team principal Monisha Kaltenborn, with a note that further details will be published at a later date.
“After the application defended by Sauber on Monday, March 9, the outcome is unfortunately not as expected. Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO and Team Principal of the Sauber F1 Team, said: “We are disappointed with this decision and now need to take time to understand what it means and the impact it will have on the start of our season. What we cannot do is jeopardise the safety of our team, or any other driver on the track, by having an unprepared driver in a car that has now been tailored to our two other assigned drivers.”
With this ruling, van der Garde would be set to replace either Marcus Ericsson or Felipe Nasr, who are scheduled to drive this weekend. However, Sauber has appealed, and that will be heard Thursday.
Either driver though could take legal action of their own from here as well.
Per van der Garde’s portion of the contract, the Dutchman would have to uphold it and supply the backing promised to the team.
Clearly this ruling is only the first step in what will be a series of events still to unfold both legally and for the team the rest of this weekend in Australia.
More to follow…