Court to decide Van der Garde fate this afternoon

Giedo van der Garde

Giedo van der Garde

The Victorian Court of Appeal will decide if Sauber will be forced to run Giedo van der Garde at this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix this afternoon.

The court reconvened this morning to hear Sauber’s appeal against yesterday’s court ruling that the Dutchman should be reinstated to the Swiss team’s driver line up.

Judges deliberated the submissions from all parties before announcing that a verdict will be made at 4:30pm local time.

Sauber’s lawyer Rodney Garrett argued it would be impossible for the former Sauber test driver to compete this weekend as he does not possess the required superlicence or a fitted seat in team’s C34 race car.

He claimed a driver would need to apply for a superlicence 14 days prior to the event.

However, Van der Garde’s defence referred to FIA regulations which stipulate a change of driver can be made up until the beginning of qualifying and that it is the team’s responsibility to apply for a superlicence.

Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn made an appearance for the first time in the proceedings.

A letter which Kaltenborn sent to the Formula 1’s Contract Recognition Board on March 4 claiming van der Garde’s Sauber contract had been terminated on February 6 was also revealed to the court.

Sauber’s lawyer then claimed van der Garde had breached confidentiality by talking to media.

A lawyer representing Sauber’s other contracted drivers Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson attended the hearing, stating that the managers of his clients had not been made aware of Van der Garde’s original legal action.

The case has been postponed until later today.

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