Vital F1 | Sauber boss could face prison
Vital Login
Social Login

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's F1, It's Vital'

Sauber boss could face prison

The legal battle between Formula One team Sauber and race driver Giedo van der Garde continued in Melbourne.

Up until now the headlines had been written in court rooms and press releases but on Friday it was played out at Albert Park in front of the worlds media as Formula One returned for the start of the 2015 Formula One World Championship.

The argument boils down to an agreement between Sauber and 29-year-old Giedo van der Garde that the Dutchman would have a race seat within the team for 2015, after serving the team as reserve driver driver in 2014 participating in seven free practice sessions over the course of the season.

According to some rumours flying around the paddock in Australia, Giedo van der Garde allegedly paid Sauber around 8million in June 2014 for the agreement. Money which Sauber would have then spent to get them through a troublesome financial period and finish the remainder of last season.

But despite this contract being in place with Giedo van der Garde, Sauber opted for a new driver line-up at the end of 2014 in the form of former Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson and GP2 racer Felipe Nasr, both bringing with them important sponsorship revenue for the team.

Giedo van der Garde took his case to a Swiss arbitration tribunal which ordered Sauber to keep him at the team and on Tuesday the Victoria court in Australia also enforced this ruling.

Sauber appealed the decision which was later dismissed as the appeals panel insisted that there was 'no error in the reasoning of the trial judge and they also ordered Sauber to pay van der Garde's legal fees.

It wasn't clear what Sauber would do especially as Van der Garde's super-licence had expired, which wouldn't allow him to compete in Friday's practice sessions.

Van der Garde insisted that he would get his super-licence fast-tracked via the Dutch motorsport authority and the FIA, however this did not happen in time for Friday's practice sessions although the reason isn't clear why and speculation has suggested that Sauber may have had a part to play in the paper work not being completed.

Despite this Van der Garde arrived at the Melbourne circuit and although he was not in possession of a Sauber pass, he managed to gain entry to the Albert Park track.

He was even seen walking around the paddock in some borrowed Sauber overalls, although he has had to set up base within the FIA offices rather than with the Sauber team.

Throughout the first practice session it was Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr who sat in the cars, although neither ventured out on track.

Back in the paddock and through the session a media scrum followed Sauber's team principal Monisha Kaltenborn, who ironically used to be head of Sauber's legal department as she holds a Law degree from the University of Vienna.

It has now emerged she is now under the threat of ending the weekend in an Australian prison if she is found in contempt of court.

The Sauber F1 team is also under the shadow of potentially seeing their assets including the cars and all the equipment seized by the authorities.

Kaltenborn refused to discuss the issue with the media as the day progressed and it isn't clear if there has been any movement.

On the track both Ericsson and Nasr finally got some track time during free practice two, but the focus firmly remains on the situation regarding how Sauber can move forward with three contracted drivers.

It's clear that both Sauber and Van der Garde's representatives have to come to some form of agreement and Van der Garde's lawyer has said that constructive discussions 'are expected to continue this evening'.

Will that see Van der Garde starting the Australian Grand Prix? It looks unlikely and the messy saga will rumble on after the F1 circus vacates Australia.

Join Vital F1

It's easy to join up and join in on, simply click the link and enjoy getting involved!

If you are already a member of Vital Football, your logins will automatically work on!

The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday March 13 2015

Time: 12:30PM


Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Vital F1 Articles

Who will win in Australia 2018? (Tuesday March 20 2018)

Brawn wants F1 league table for tracks (Friday February 23 2018)

Mercedes uncertain on who will be a threat (Thursday February 22 2018)

Verstappen dreading Halo introduction (Wednesday February 21 2018)

Haas want to close the gap to Ferrari (Tuesday February 20 2018)

Williams defend inexperienced line-up (Monday February 19 2018)

Renault still looking to change the rules (Thursday February 15 2018)

London double-decker bus could sit on Halo (Wednesday February 14 2018)

Could Hamilton return to McLaren? (Tuesday February 13 2018)

Massa gave no guidance to Stroll (Tuesday February 13 2018)

Wehrlein returns to DTM (Monday February 12 2018)

Grid Girls to be replaced by Grid Kids (Monday February 12 2018)

Former champ calls for 26 car grids (Friday February 9 2018)

Alonso to compete at Le Mans (Tuesday February 6 2018)

Force India & Sauber withdraw EU complaint (Wednesday January 31 2018)

F1 set to jump on Verstappen bandwagon (Tuesday January 30 2018)

Lauda takes dig at Red Bull (Friday January 26 2018)

Cosworth keen on F1 return (Thursday January 25 2018)

Former champs back Hamilton (Wednesday January 24 2018)

All you need to know for F1 in 2018 (Tuesday January 23 2018)

Full Formula One line-up for 2018 set (Monday January 22 2018)

Could Red Bull be favourites for 2018? (Wednesday January 17 2018)

Force India sign F2 race winner (Friday January 12 2018)

Massa backing Williams in 2018 (Thursday January 11 2018)

F1 regulations unreasonable says Honda (Wednesday January 10 2018)

Pirelli receive Red Bull backing (Tuesday January 9 2018)

Aston Martin in demand (Monday January 8 2018)

Haas positive 2018 car will be better (Thursday January 4 2018)

Wehrlein set to bid goodbye to F1 (Wednesday January 3 2018)

Hamilton critical of French GP return (Tuesday January 2 2018)

Liberty get backing from Horner (Saturday December 30 2017)

F1 attendance figures on the rise (Wednesday December 27 2017)

Tost concentraing in Honda positives (Wednesday December 27 2017)

Merry Christmas from VitalF1 (Monday December 25 2017)

Todt to enjoy 12 years as FIA president (Sunday December 24 2017)

What's in a number? (Wednesday December 20 2017)

Grid penalty change for 2018 (Tuesday December 19 2017)

Hamilton and Vettel clash (Monday December 18 2017)

Ocon eyes Mercedes seat for 2019 (Friday December 15 2017)

Alonso targets race wins in 2018 (Thursday December 14 2017)

Hamilton and Alonso praise Pirelli (Monday December 11 2017)

All female racing series to support F1? (Wednesday December 6 2017)

Alfa Romeo name returns to F1 (Monday December 4 2017)

Hamilton poor form down to partying (Thursday November 30 2017)

More change in F1, but this one is positive (Wednesday November 29 2017)

Liberty Media alienating F1 fans? (Tuesday November 28 2017)

Blog: Abu Dhabi GP Report (Monday November 27 2017)

2017 Abu Dhabi GP - Race (Sunday November 26 2017)

Blog: Abu Dhabi Qualifying (Saturday November 25 2017)

2017 Abu Dhabi GP - Qualifying (Saturday November 25 2017)

2017 Abu Dhabi GP - FP3 (Saturday November 25 2017)

2017 Abu Dhabi GP - FP2 (Friday November 24 2017)

2017 Abu Dhabi GP - FP1 (Friday November 24 2017)

Expanded calendar for Formula 2 and GP3 (Friday November 24 2017)

Formula One going soft (Thursday November 23 2017)

Blog: Abu Dhabi Preview (Thursday November 23 2017)

Force India name change hits the buffers (Wednesday November 22 2017)

Who will win in Abu Dhabi? (Monday November 20 2017)

Blog: Brazilian GP Report (Tuesday November 14 2017)

2017 Brazil GP - Race (Monday November 13 2017)

Blog: Interlagos Qualifying (Sunday November 12 2017)

2017 Brazil GP - Qualifying (Saturday November 11 2017)

2017 Brazil GP - FP3 (Saturday November 11 2017)

2017 Brazil GP - FP2 (Friday November 10 2017)

2017 Brazil GP - FP1 (Friday November 10 2017)

Blog: Interlagos Preview (Thursday November 9 2017)

Massa announces second retirement (Wednesday November 8 2017)

Hamilton only has eyes for Formula One (Tuesday November 7 2017)

Archived Vital F1 Articles

List All Vital F1 Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. DJ 1213
2. Red5 1130
3. The Fear 773
4. Villaininthemerde 612
5. johnkelv 601
6. Druss_the_Legend 596
7. Push The Button 518
8. col8 334
9. The Intimidator 221
10. VanGisbergen2013 183

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Who is going to win in Australia?
Hamilton 41%
Bottas 0%
Vettel 27%
Raikkonen 11%
Verstappen 16%
Ricciardo 5%
Someone else 0%