The Giedo van der Garde vs. Sauber case has put the spotlight on driver contracts, and one element of the Dutch driver’s lengthy statement released Wednesday to reveal his settlement with the team was a warning shot issued to teams, drivers and other entities about the validity of contracts.
“Finally, I would like to direct a few words to the teams, drivers, future drivers, their managers and the Formula One governing bodies,” van der Garde wrote. “I sincerely hope that what has happened to me will start a movement aimed at setting new standards and bringing about new regulations to help protect the rights of drivers.
“I would like to think that the values and business ethics that apply in any other business should be equally applicable in Formula One. I am lucky to have had Marcel (Boekhoorn) and Jeroen (Schothorst) on my side. Both of them have extensive backgrounds in business and bring a lot of expertise to the table when it comes to resolving complicated business affairs. Without them, I would have remained empty-handed in the wake of this extraordinary affair.
“There are numerous examples of talented drivers with good intentions but without the sort of professional support that I have had, who have been broken by Formula One and who have seen their careers destroyed. I therefore hope that my unprecedented case which was heard last week by the Supreme Court of Victoria at Melbourne will serve as an example to illustrate what should change, and that new regulations will be implemented to help protect driver rights.”