Another controversy to stir the Formula 1 start of the season. The Dutchman Giedo van der Garde requires a place at Sauber and advanced with a court case. The last hearing was held on Monday, but the final decision will only be known on Wednesday. The Dutch accused the team of lacking the commitment to give him a place holder as a pilot for this season, and carried the Swiss team to the Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia.

In response, Sauber claims that if van der Garde took over the place, "would create an unacceptable life-threatening situation, since the driver is not adapted to the car seater". Rodney Garrett, counsel for Sauber, reportedly said in court that "van der Garde had no experience driving the C34 and would not have enough time to learn".

Advertisements
Advertisements

The pilot's lawyer defends by ensuring that "teams are flexible to make adjustments for each driver" and also states that "Sauber can replace van der Garde this weekend by any driver, without breaking their current contracts".

Van der Garde ran for Caterham in 2013, before becoming reserve pilot for Sauber last year. In 2015, these functions will be given to Italian Raffaele Marciello, Ferrari Academy pilot.

Van der Garde won the Dutch Kart championship in 1998, and in Super A he was considered best rookie in 2001 and world champion in 2002. He was 6th in Formula Renault in 2003 and became part of the Renault F1 Driver Programme. He joined Formula 3 in 2004 where he raced with Lewis Hamilton, Adrian Sutil, Paul di Resta and Sebastian Vettel. In 2007 he moved on to Formula Renault 3.5, in 2009 to GP2 Series and finally in 2013 he became Catherham's F1 driver.

Advertisements

However, his experience in Formula 1 had started well before. In 2006 he joined the McLaren Young Driver Programme. In 2007 he was announced by Spyker F1 as a test driver and disputed by Super Aguri, who had intentions of announcing Giedo Van der Garde as team official driver. He didn't ran for any of those teams, and also failed the 2011 season, when he was announced as a candidate for a place on Virgin F1 team.