Victorian court to rule on Sauber driver line-up

Giedo Van der Garde

Giedo van der Garde

The Supreme Court of Victoria will decide on Wednesday whether Sauber will be forced to field Giedo van der Garde at this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.

The Dutch driver claims the Swiss team has reneged on a deal for him race for the squad which has prompted legal action from Van der Garde in the Australian courts.

The former Sauber reserve driver was overlooked for a race seat for the 2015 season after the squad elected to sign former Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson and GP2 star Felipe Nasr.

The two new drivers are understood to have brought more funding to the struggling outfit than the Dutchman had previously.

A Swiss arbitration tribunal has already ruled in Van der Garde’s favour, claiming Sauber could not deny him a race seat.

Van der Garde attended a hearing at The Supreme Court in Melbourne on Monday with a final decision now expected at 10am on Wednesday.

Sauber’s lawyer Rodney Garrett argued that if the team fielded Van de Garde at Albert Park it would present an “unacceptable risk” for other drivers and personnel.

“Sauber could not allow him to race. It would be reckless and dangerous to do otherwise. It would result in an unacceptable risk of physical harm or even death,” Garrett told the court.

The argument was not accepted by Van der Garde’s legal team.

Prior to the hearing Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn released the following statement saying the team will do everything to protect its own interests.

“As this matter is currently before the courts it would be inappropriate for me to comment on specific details,” she said.

“However, we will take all necessary steps to protect our company, this team and its interests.

“Last year was a challenging time for us but going into the 2015 season we have been focused on putting steps in place to ensure that we are delivering the best outcomes for F1’s fans.”

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