“My future in F1 is probably over” – van der Garde

2015 F1 season

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Giedo van der Garde admits he is unlikely to race in Formula One again after agreeing a settlement to the case he brought against Sauber.

Courts in Switzerland and Australia upheld van der Garde’s claim that he was entitled to race for the team in 2015 despite Sauber having appointed two other drivers for the season.

Van der Garde confirmed in a post on his Facebook page today he had “reached a settlement with Sauber and my driver contract with the team has been ended by mutual consent”.

He said he was “sad and very disappointed” about the affair. “I had hoped at last to be able to show what I am capable of, driving a car for a respected midfield team in the 2015 season”.

“This dream has been taken away from me and I know that my future in Formula One is probably over.”

Van der Garde insists his contract for the coming season was valid and says he began legal proceedings long before the matter came to a head during the Australian Grand Prix weekend.

“I had a valid driver contract for the entire 2015 season and enforceable rights to it,” he said. “I pushed very hard until last Saturday in Melbourne to get the drive that I was entitled to.”

“This legal process started in 2014 and has taken a great deal of effort. It was never a last minute thing, but it only became public in the last week when we tried to force the team to accept the rulings of a succession of legal authorities and courts.”

Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn was “adamant not to let me drive”, van der Garde claims, “notwithstanding my legal rights to do so and a series of rulings and court orders in my favour and despite my race driving abilities”.

“I will never understand this. I could have persisted, but the team principal had taken a decision contrary to my contract that she would not work with me and this became painfully clear in the paddock in Melbourne.

“To push on against this determination might have brought down the team, it would most certainly have wrecked the opening grand prix in Melbourne because the team’s cars would have been seized by the court, it may have ruined the careers of two young drivers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr. Possibly the team’s directors would even be taken into custody.

“I decided I did not want to live with that idea, even though it was only the team’s management that was responsible for the bizarre situation I found myself in.”

‘Other drivers had their careers destroyed’

Van der Garde added he had received support for his position from some current F1 drivers as well as “several leading figures in the paddock who include team bosses and reputable former Formula One drivers”. He claimed other drivers have been in similar situations in the past.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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119 comments on ““My future in F1 is probably over” – van der Garde”

  1. Gets a mountain of cash and then talks about talented drivers and not getting to show his speed? Maybe should have been faster driver and not suing “your” team for the mountain of cash?

    1. So you would let a firm take your millions and not get what you are entitled to?

      I have plenty of things for sale that you can buy!

    2. antonyob (@)
      18th March 2015, 9:13

      Thanks for your kind words Mr Kaltenborn. You may take the lemon out of your mouth now

    3. Becoming a faster driver doesn’t guarantee you to get a seat in F1. Yes, VdG is a pay driver, but this is not a matter of pay driver or not, it is about honoring contract. The fact is that VdG already pay in advance to Sauber. Without his money, Sauber would be in a deeper trouble. Sure, right now they managed to secure 2 pay drivers and one of them happens to be fast. But those 2 drivers might not be able to buy the seat if Sauber was already folded.
      Although I don’t like pay drivers, I feel that paying for a seat in itself isn’t really a bad thing. It is after you pay for your seat and you didn’t perform… that’s bad.
      You don’t even know if he was fast in a F1 car or not. Yes, he gets a mountain of cash, but his dream for competing in F1 is probably over. And he isn’t suing his team for a mountain of cash. He is suing them because they are not honoring the contract. The mountain of cash is a bonus for the misery that he got to experience from a contracted driver to suddenly out of job which is not his own fault.

      1. I think the reason for suing should be that people sponsored vdG to drive for Sauber, and money was given to Sauber so that could happen. When Sauber denied him a drive, then Sauber is obliged to return the money. By not returning all or most of the money, then sponsors won’t be wanting to support drivers who wish to drive for Sauber.

        1. Oh, my mistake, Sauber did, according to van der Garde, pay “significant compensation”.
          Apologies if my previous comments cause any offence.
          Source: http://www.planetf1.com/driver/3213/37876/Sauber-surprised-by-Giedo-statement

    4. You couldn’t be more wrong on this. He was completely in his right, and really got screwed by Sauber and now have to accept that his dream is torpedoed by a shortsighted CEO.

      I really have respect for the way Van Der Garde did this. He stood up for his rights, but didn’t let Sauber crash in the end. He made his point, got his money back, and now requests for more respect for the contracts. And start figuring out a new career. He lost big time, but keeps his head up.

    5. petebaldwin (@)
      18th March 2015, 9:51

      Sauber broke a contract so how can VDG be in the wrong? £10m is fair when you consider he had a chance to show what he could do and earn himself another few seasons in F1. Instead, his best chance in F1 is now as a test driver or a commentator.

      Sauber thought they could ignore contracts and do whatever they want so fair play to VDG for standing up to it. The courts have proven that he was right to do so.

      I don’t think VDG is the best driver out there and I’m not particularly sad that he won’t be in F1 (although I am a bit sad that Ericsson is) but I’m glad the courts found in his favour.

      Sauber have gone right down in my estimations though. How on earth can you sign a driver, accept his sponsorship money and then sign another 2 drivers and pretend the contract doesn’t exist.

      With only 15 cars starting in Melbourne, teams signing too many drivers, no German GP, teams who have previously dominated for years complaining now because a team other than them is dominating and so on, it’s really starting to get quite embarrassing to call myself an F1 fan. There’s more credibility following professional wrestling – the storylines are much more believable as well!

    6. Wow, staggering ignorance. VDG already gave Sauber money for 2015 and wanted either his drive or his cash back. Anyone saying he should have left it, are fools.

      He burned his bridges in F1 but at least he showed the complete lack of respect or loyalty littered throughout the sport.

      1. He should take his money to Manor. Wouldn’t that sit well with the plutocrats?

        1. …and would give him enough 2015 races to qualify for a 2016 super-licence that he won’t qualify for otherwise

          1. petebaldwin (@)
            18th March 2015, 16:29

            … if they ever get out of the garage :)

    7. @ Lauri “Gets a mountain of cash and then talks about talented drivers and not getting to show his speed? Maybe should have been faster driver and not suing “your” team for the mountain of cash?”

      What an ignorant statement. This is all Kaltenborn’s fault. That man earned the right to drive, he had a contract. He is NOT the bad guy here. She may have very well ruined his future.

  2. Deep….

    1. I feel bad for him but this was the only possible outcome. I believe Sauber was counting on his fear of completely losing his F1 career when they reneged on their agreement. It was always going to be 1: Accept losing the seat at Sauber quietly and hold out hope for another opportunity in F1 or 2: Go after Sauber; win, and kiss F1 bye bye. There’s just no way both parties could have worked together after the lawsuit and acrimony from both sides. Now, other teams will be wary of giving him a chance even though he was in the right and was hard done by Sauber.

  3. Van der Garde also says that “effectively, it was my sponsor’s advanced payments that helped the [Sauber] team survive in 2014”.

    It looks like these payments were still not enough so Sauber were forced to hire more pay drivers and thus betray van der Garde and his sponsors. I still not believe that Kaltenborn would have done this if the existence of the team had not been under threat. If the “settlement” does not ruin Sauber now (hopefully the team’s cash flow situation has improved now), then I would say it was worth it. As much as I feel for van der Garde, I am not blaming Kaltenborn for saving Sauber and also F1 as a sport from downfall – it’s not as if there were too many cars in the Albert Park.

    1. Can i build a house for you? I own a building company that will go under without your money….

      1. I don’t care about building companies, I only care about F1 :)

        For sure, VDG was 100% right to feel betrayed and seek and receive compensation. I am just trying to put myself in Kaltenborn’s shoes and realizing that I would probably have done the same thing.

        1. @girts

          Look from another perspective! He took sponsors money to agree one racer allowed a seat, but ignored the contract in the end. They got more sponsors behind curtains, and behind same curtains, they voided a legally binding contract!

          Perspective: She saved the current day? Yes! But how about future possibilities? They destroyed a driver’s carrier and also created very bad business image! Who will sponsor them and they expect them oblige again when they dont have guarantee/trust?

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        18th March 2015, 9:54

        Yes please – have my money and build my house. Sounds like a good deal to me. I get a house and your company goes from strength to st…. wait… OI! What are you doing over there. My house is supposed to be over here. Alex! Aleeeexxxxx!!!

        He’s going to feel so stupid when he realises he’s building the house in the wrong place! Hang on… who is that? Ericsson! Get out of my house!

    2. Although without VdG money, Sauber may already be in such a trouble that no one wants to buy their seats. Probably what happens is that they are in such a financial hell that they accept the highest bidder, which was Ericsson. Suddenly, Nasr come with an offer Sauber can’t refuse, thus Sauber just accept it and probably tried tried to buy out VdG contract (which happens to be the lowest, but it did help Sauber survival) and VdG was having none of it. He kept pushing for a drive until this moment came.
      I trully believe that if Nasr were to came before Ericsson, VdG probably would be able to keep his seat. I think Ericsson already have his shot in F1 and he wasn’t fast enough.

      1. Joe Saward recently reported that Sauber’s initial plan was to sign Bianchi and VDG for 2015 but Bianchi got injured and Ferrari was not ready to support the team anymore (at least not to the same extent). Moreover, they also had a cash-flow crisis because of the sanctions against Russia so they did what they did. I do not know if it is true or not but the story makes sense.

        1. As you can see from the painted car the big money come from Nasr sponsors.
          Ericsson gives a significant amount but is only very few million more than the compensation VdG currently took.
          So you may think why sigh Ericsson then and not keep VdG?
          The reason is simple. Nasr was ether in talks or an unknown and not signed but also his sponsors wouldn’t give money at days notice by signing the papers.
          The team needed money immediately. Ericsson appeared from the Caterham sinking ship with the offer of money up frond. The team needed that money so they signed him.
          That helped them survive the end of 2014 and keep building the new car.
          But now their drivers were Ericsson and VdG and the team still was in the fence economically. Nasr negotiations continue and suddenly the team finds it self able to sign him and his bankers that offer a sponsorship at the size of Ericsson and VdG together.
          BUT they already took the money from the other two and there are no more seats. So what now? Well they can’t let the big bucks Nasr offers go away from them. That money are important to get threw the whole 2015 with some decent car.
          So they sign Nasr too and that’s how they got in this mess.

          So if Nasr had signed a little faster and gave money up frond, most probably Sauber would have had Nasr and VdG as drivers. Ericsson just offered water when they were dyeing from thirst while trying to get to the well(Nasr).

      2. Hm, but apparently Ericcson ALSO paid up the 2015 money up front (when he was signed) much like VdGarde. Not sure Nasrs sponsors would also do that, because until now (and VdGarde “winning” this case) there was not much to do to make the team honour that deal it seems.

        Overall, rather than feeling anyone as villains and heroes in this saga, its a rather sad story of how a solid team is struggling and having to grab any opportunity to survive. They signed Guttierez for being a promising rookie, but as much for the mexican money he was bringing. Sutil also got a salary but has been bringing in some sponsor money from his backers (Hulk is still being owed for his drive).

        Last year they first found Sirotkin and the Russians who failed to do what they promised, partly due to Russias actions I suppose,
        then they hoped that Simona de Silvestro and her backers could help, when that fell through they made a deal with VdGarde, but as the agreement with Ferrari to run Bianchi sadly crashed, they had to find even more money to pay for the Ferrari engines (remember they were late paying several times over the last year or 2), and at the same time Ericcson saw his caterham drive falling through and his backers were able to also pay up front. Then Nasr and Banco di Brasil saw the opportunity to get him in a race seat, instead of staying with Williams and bought him the other seat.

        That a team that was fighting for solid solid points and the odd podium or even win only 2 years back finds itself in such a state (and look at FI who have also been solid mid field but need BE to pay up front and Perez to bring cash) really shows the dire state of F1.

        1. @BasCB I think that’s a very good summary – we have mostly seen a blame game so far but the whole saga is also another consequence of the no-money-no-honey policy of Bernie & the big teams.

          Van der Garde is a pay driver, just like Ericsson – he would not have made it to F1 if all drivers were signed on merit (he would not have earned enough superlicence points either). It is no excuse for Sauber’s actions but we are not really talking about a talented young driver, whose career has been destroyed by an evil team; we are talking about a misused pay driver.

          The bottom line is that F1 needs strong and healthy teams instead of Sauber and it needs the best drivers in the world instead of van der Garde. The big guys need to take care of it.

          1. (he would not have earned enough superlicence points either)

            F3: 6th place in 2006 (6 points)
            FR 3.5: 6th place in 2007 + 1st place in 2008 (35 points)
            Boom! A superlicence. :)

          2. Well spotted! Assuming that Formula 3 Euro Series has the same value as the FIA F3 European Championship, van der Garde would have earned a superlicence for 2009. Not for 2013 though…

          3. I believe, FIA stated there were no problems for issuing the license for VDG but his team had to apply it. Also Sauber told CRB that VDG contract voided, when it wasnt (legally speaking)!

            “The bottom line is that F1 needs strong and healthy teams instead of Sauber and it needs the best drivers in the world instead of van der Garde. The big guys need to take care of it.”

            But Sauber was hiring the highest sponsored drivers, contrary to your bottom line… :) And they were being very naughty with the hiring process!

            Me thinks, Sauber will get burnt again (financially) due to breaking a sponsorship deal like this!

    3. petebaldwin (@)
      18th March 2015, 10:10

      @girts – I understand what you are saying but Monisha has decided that in order to save the company, she would have to break the law. Desperate times require desperate measures but you have to act within the law and failing to do so is inexcusable.

      1. It is expecially reprehensible when she owns lots of equity, which is more to the reason why she did it, to save her own skin, i doubt she cares too much for the team….

      2. @petebaldwin and @girts Since Monisha is a lawyer does this kind of action may have an effect in her license?

        1. @celeste I do not think so, I guess it only affects her reputation. I believe that she knew what she was doing and that signing three drivers was a calculated mistake.

          1. @girts Thank you.

            Now in a personal opinion: should Monisha be dismissed after this deal? Certanly even when her intentions were to save the team she brought the team and the sport into disrepute…

          2. @celeste It is a difficult question. I personally have nothing against Kaltenborn (assuming that she really just wanted to save the team). But the last weeks have brought a lot of bad publicity for Sauber and the communication has not been very good. So maybe it would be better for the team if someone replaced her, just to restore the faith in Sauber.

    4. @girts – As a former employer, and as a former employee cheated out of legitimate pay, I can see both sides.

      As an employee who along with twenty others were laid off being owed thousands of dollars each and never got paid, I can sympathize with anyone in that position. Our employer made a conscious choice not to pay us at the time we were laid off. The employer eventually closed up about a year later with no assets and we were never paid. He could have paid us at the time, chose not to and still ended up going under. We used all legal means open to us and it did no good. Anyone in that position needs to use whatever leverage available or they may well just give up. Those are the choices.

      As an employer who ran a company with employees for over twenty years it was extremely difficult and sometimes unpleasant decisions have to be made at crucial times. My company was underfunded (much like Sauber, not anywhere near as large though) most of the time I was in business and somehow I was able to keep it going. I always made payroll and paid my employees first.

      1. @bullmello Thanks, that is really a good example and a good insight. Van der Garde is not an ordinary employee (you normally do not have to find sponsors to get a job) but the choices that both sides have to make in tough times are equally difficult.

        I can understand both sides and I probably feel like a loyal customer, who just does not want to lose his favourite product that is made by the company…

        1. @girts – Agreed, it is difficult all the way round. And we know a good deal of this financial grief lies on the doorstep of FOM and their inequitable distribution of monies to the teams who provide the actual cars, drivers, technology and support to make the product viable. While this does not excuse some of the possibly questionable decisions made by certain team principals, it certainly helps explain how these situations have arisen.

          I’ve been a fan and supporter of the Sauber team for a long time and have questioned lately whether that should continue. I think it will for now, without condoning all decisions made. F1 needs Sauber and teams like them to survive and better yet, thrive.

  4. Never thought too highly of van der Garde as a driver but I admire the principled stand he’s taken here.

    1. Same here, he really earned my respect for the way he handled this.

    2. +1

      Before this whole affair, I had a lot of respect for Sauber and didn’t thought too highly of VdG. Now it’s opposite.

      I hope teams will be more careful with what they promise to some people now.

      1. It really made me mad listening to the courts continually back VDG’s case yet Sauber acted like the courts’ decision meant nothing. Regardless of the background to why they might have signed two more pay drivers – thankyou Bernie & CVC – Sauber have acted in the worst way possible in my eyes. As a few people have noted, in 2012 they went very close to winning one GP and really punched above their weight, with the C32 being my favourite car of that season, even with the step nose. Three years later and what a mess!

        I really hope VDG gets a good drive in the WEC, not because I’m a fan, simply because he deserves justice for the farce that was his signed and court-endorsed Sauber contract.

        TBH I’m becoming more interested in Indycar at the moment. At least their stories are generally good news… and their cars look cool!

    3. True. And it’s really a simple matter, either give him a drive or the money back. This should get (even) more publicity and Sauber should suffer consequences.

    4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      18th March 2015, 13:05

      Like he said this was very emotional for him – this guaranteed contract upheld by courts in so many nations signifies the end of his F1 career. Should he have destroyed Sauber? I believe that on principle he should have. On the human level, no. It’s unethical that they put him in that situation and also forced to pull the trigger on the team.

      I hope Monisha Kaltenborn is sacked and is unemployed for the rest of her career. Everytime I see Sauber, I’ll hope their car breaks down.

      I think you should do a poll about whether the FIA should impose a penalty on Sauber and whether Monisha should be sacked for her actions. Maybe we can see a little justice in this.

      1. A procedure for Monisha to be relieved of her position may have already been put in place but they wouldn’t just do it right now in the light of this mess. You may hear in the summer or winder months before next season that Kalterborn is not longer with Sauber over health problems or that she wanted to spend time with her family or whatever excuse.

    5. So what’s next for this upright man who happens to be a lower tier driver? Formula E?

      1. INDYCAR, Protoypes, or touring cars, at this point anything that tickles his fancy. and i wish him the best.

    6. @keithcollantine – Having been in a situation similar to the one van der Garde found himself in I cannot find any fault with him for pursuing this the way that he did. If you are legitimately owed money from an employer (or contractor) who refuses to pay and have exhausted all ordinary means to get payment, you have two choices. Use whatever leverage you have or give up. He legally used the only leverage he had after being refused payment. More power to him for doing that. In my similar experience, myself and twenty other employees tried all legal measures open to us and received nothing when our former employer went under. We are each still owed thousands of dollars that we will never see.

      Another point I have not seen addressed anywhere is whether or not van der Garde’s benefactors who put up his pay driver money to Sauber have any legitimate claim on his agreed payment from Sauber when he receives it?

      1. But did he have a choice anyway? His sponsors probably demanded from him to claim their money back. He had no choice than go to court.

    7. He makes a very good commentator though, him and Bruno Senna. He can commentate and race else where (other series) like A.Davidson, Senna.

  5. antonyob (@)
    18th March 2015, 9:18

    Welcome to the piranha club Giedo, or rather farewell.

    Sounds like a decent human being Giedo. Sauber have been totally embarrassed by this. Amateurish & incompetent they are fortunate this years car appears not to be a dog and Nasr a half decent driver. We will see but they’ve lost any “back the underdog” sentiment I had for them anyway.

    1. It will probably take some years for me to enjoy the Sauber team again. I wouldn’t be disappointed if mrs Kaltenborn left the building…

      1. +1 totally dishonest and underhanded. Such a shame the rest of the team is attached to Kaltenborn’s dirty dealing. Fair play to Giedo for sticking up for himslef and not killing the team out of spite, though he could have. I fear Sauber is destined for the graveyard eventually anyway, but after this will be less sad to see them go.

  6. Excellent karter, 2008 FR3.5 champion, principled and a lovely chap to interview. No, he is no Max Verstappen, but the ironic thing is he is probably a better driver than Ericsson…

  7. I really dislike the way van der Garde has handled this. Strotting around the paddock in Ericsson’s clothing just to make media react? That’s very unnecessary. I sincerely believe that this was about more than just the drive – his sponsors want the team. If Sauber can’t pay up, then they will be forced to pay through partial ownership of the team. I just don’t see his sponsors going to such absurd lengths just to let him drive.

    1. He already paid in advance. He was technically entitled to do it because he had a valid contract. No matter what the ulterior motves might be, it was Sauber who was digging them self into a hole. If you dislike what VdG do, then you must really dislike what Sauber was doing.

    2. You don’t think it was Sauber who gave those overalls to him? You really think he snuck into Ericsson’s dressing room, put on the racing suit and walked around the paddock to get the media to react?

      I think he really though he would drive, or at least thought if anybody would, it would be him. How else is he supposed to get to the garage?

      I actually felt bad for VDG. I think it must have been quite embarrassing for him to walk in those overalls.

    3. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      18th March 2015, 9:43

      Really?? I’m stunned that one could think negatively toward vdg regarding this. Actually I don’t know why I’m surprised, many people just don’t seem to care about others these days.

    4. petebaldwin (@)
      18th March 2015, 9:58

      @chrischrill – VDG was strolling around in his clothing that he was contractually obliged to do. I’d be more annoyed at Ericsson/Nasr who were driving around in VDG’s car!

    5. It’s fairly simple. Vd Garde was wearing the racing overall ifor the seat fitting (what actually happened). So waring the overall actually had a purpose.

    6. Strotting??

    7. Or is it worse that Ericsson is strutting around in the race overalls that should have been vd Garde’s to begin with? It’s not like Ericsson is any good as an F1 driver anyway.

    8. Dean Reynolds
      18th March 2015, 13:00

      You….. my friend. … ARE a clown. Gvd is the ONLY person to come out of this with his head held high. Sauber have lost most of the goodwill support they had. Hope fully klatenborn will be sacked and sent back to the hovel from whence she came.

    9. You also believe he broke into Sauber’s garage? Maybe Ferrari and Red Bull should break into Mercedes’ and figure out why they’re so fast.

  8. Sad… very sad news, but this is what F1 has become and always will be: strapped for cash money.

    He was right to defend tooth and nail for his dream, a race seat in a good midfield team!
    In hindsight Caterham F1 wasn’t the best choice by his management team.
    (previous short stints at Super Aguri – Force India, i expected him to turn up at Williams F1 with his mMcGregor sponsorship)

    But then again timing is of the essence, look at Ericson!

    At least his helmet look the best of the field, no squiggly lines!

    So they had two drivers (v.d. Garde, Sutil) for 2015 but hired new two drivers (Nasr, Ericson) for 2015 with more money.

    Nicht so Sauber gemacht!

  9. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    18th March 2015, 9:39

    I’m so disappointed in Sauber. Sadly my long held admiration and respect for the team is gone. I shall never again root for them in races and I hope VDG gets a drive at Haas F1 or elsewhere for 2016 onwards.

    1. Just wondering, who will you be rooting for then? Ferrari, who regularly have used politics to their advantage? McLaren, who have been pretty harsh with their drivers and don’t forget spygate? Benetton/Renault/Lotus, with their illegal settings in the nineties, also involved in spygate and don’t forget the crash in Singapore? Red Bull, who handled Webber very badly, regularly push the boundries of legality and are current whining like little kids? Torro Rosso, again harsh on drivers and they are owned by Red Bull, so can’t support them without supporting Red Bull? Force India, who is led by a man in dire financial and legal issues in his home country and has not paid staff in certain companies? Manor, who might have turned up the Australian grand prix without any intention of driving? That leaves Williams, who must have had some drama like this in the past, but can’t think of any at the moment. I admit, some of my points are just speculation and thin reasons to dislike a team. But the point is, it is stupid to say you will never again root for a team over one mistake. They messed up. Badly. They are now paying for it. It seems pretty clear that they got themselves into this situation to survive. To safe 330+ jobs. Illegal, unfair, maybe even scummy? Yes. Unforgivable? No

      1. Well, Torro Rosso seems to be a clean team to me. At least they give talent a chance instead of pay drivers, and I can’t remember them ever being in some sort of scandal.

        1. maarten.f1 (@)
          18th March 2015, 22:51

          @favomodo The only reason they give talent a chance is because that’s the whole purpose of the team for Red Bull. Torro Rosso takes whomever Red Bull tells ’em to take. Don’t get me wrong, I like a team out there who is there for young talent, however, I don’t have any illusions on why Torro Rosso is doing that.

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        18th March 2015, 11:11

        Good point there really. Sauber acted in the wrong and absolutely deserve the punishment they have been handed. Any repercussions as a result of the payment they have to make to VDG are their own doing because they handled this situation very badly.

        Having said that, if they reason they did what they did was to save the team, at least they had a credible motive. The others you mention (let’s be honest, it’s pretty much every team on the grid) cheated at some point to try and win. Sauber cheated to remain in existence.

      3. You missed out Mercedes, what have you got on them then?

        1. Can’t show a liking for Mercedes. They’re winning everything!

        2. Illegal tyre tests?

          1. Mercedes were found to have acted in good faith.

    2. At this pont I’ve lost all my respect for sauber. Before the season I had a much more positive view about them. But this kind of scam is just totally unacceptable. Totally unacceptable.

    3. I feel the same, My long held respect and admiration for Peter Sauber is slightly tarnished now and all the respect I had (was actually quite a large amount) for Monisha Kaltenborn evaporated last weekend and today after there press release.

  10. I read somewhere that Peter Sauber has thrown his support behind Monisha Kaltenborn. Why wouldn’t he? After all she signs young drivers for a race seats, takes in all the sponsorship funds and ditches them royally for new drivers and more funds. No wonder she is Saubers savior.
    Unfortunately F1 has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. Sad state of affairs of what is supposedly the pinnacle of motor sports.

  11. I really feel sorry for him, 15.000.000 € on his pocket. Poor guy…

    Sorry mates, I feel sorry for Sauber in this matter, they have so many financial problems, I hope that this settlement don´t jeopardize the job of those hundreds employees that live of their work and not at the cost of a wealthy family.

    Nevertheless Monisha looked bad in this picture.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      18th March 2015, 10:02

      @pnunocosta – This settlement is not the reason Sauber are paying out £10m to VDG. The decision to break contract law is the reason they are paying £10m to VDG.

      Any risk to the company or any of it’s employees is caused, in full, by Monisha Kaltenborn and her belief that signed contracts mean nothing.

      Sauber will simply lose a bit of money and will struggle on as they have been doing as a result of their own incompetence. VDG’s F1 career has been destroyed because of Sauber’s incompetence. I know who I feel sorry for.

      1. I don´t think that he had such a promising and long lasting carrer in F1. He doesn´t has the talent to drive for a top team, and his sponsors after a few years wouldn´t be getting much more visiblity and revenue.
        He would end up in WEC or something like that, this settlement was just the antecipation of his future.
        I don´t believe in his sadness, with 15 M in his pocket…

        1. I don’t know but I doubt hes getting 15mill. Im guessing his sponsors will want their money back also

    2. @pnunocosta I’m pretty sure at least half the money will be returned to his father-in-law’s coffers, possibly with interest. The rest will likely be used as personal collateral so that if he gets a race seat anywhere, he’s personally bringing the money, not a conglomerate of rich millionaires.

      The guy sounds like he just wants to be driving fast cars somewhere.

  12. Hm, I though he might buy his way into Manor with the money from the deal. Then again, Manor (if they get the car running) mentioned that they would happily have Mehri rather than some 10 million of cash – this being F1 it might have just been stating the minimum bid though!

    1. From day 1 VdG has been in the frame at Manor

  13. So what we’re seeing is that Sauber needed cash from 3 drivers to get themselves through the Winter break and at some point they probably had to decide to either fold/default on a debt or take another driver and deal with the consequences later.

    From the outside I presume that it’s a relatively common occurrence where teams will give a driver a contract and not honour it, they’ve just found a driver with legal support and the determination to make a stand.

    Sauber won’t be too troubled by the settlement payment, after all their normal sponsor revenues have now restarted and they just made a huge impact on the track meaning they can be hopeful of more money to come.

    What will come of this? Not a lot probably, Sauber will continue as they were perhaps more wary of screwing pay drivers around and drivers in the future may feel emboldened to look for settlements when teams decide not to honour their contracts. F1’s name gets dragged through the mud again, standard really.

    1. Good comment.

    2. Apparently they contracted Sutil, vd Garde, Bianchi, Nasr and then Ericsson. 5 drivers for 2 cars.

    3. Where has all of this ‘Sauber needed cash from 3 drivers to get themselves through the Winter break’ drivel come from! No-one in any position of knowledge has said this! It is something that the various F1 forums have collectively assumed to be true.

      All that we know is that Sauber had originally intended to run Vdg and Bianchi. Bianchi crashed and was out of the equation so Sauber needed someone else to make up the budget that they would lose from Ferrari (Probably a reduction in engine supply costs).

  14. Extremely eloquent and impressive.

  15. I think it is shocking from Sauber – Geido’s sponsor paid for keeping the team afloat with a dog of a 2014 car, with a contract in place to reap rewards of 2015 (rewards they are now showing, while reneging on their contract obligations).
    I really do not understand everyone’s automatic dislike of a pay driver. Normally it is just a different funding route. Nepotism aside, the best drivers should be able to find the most sponsors to buy a place.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      18th March 2015, 11:15

      @tricky – “the best drivers should be able to find the most sponsors to buy a place”

      They should but it doesn’t work like that. Some pay drivers are good and people don’t have an issue with them (Nasr, Perez etc) but the problem is around the pay drivers who have no place in F1 but get a seat anyway due to their Nationality or family ties (Maldonado, Ericsson, Chilton, etc)

      1. Of course there are other drivers who get a place in F1 thanks to their family connections who do turn out to be reasonable drivers. Just because Rosberg has turned out to be a very good driver doesn’t mean that he would have gotten the same opportunity had he not been Keke’s son. Look how many racing drivers are the sons of famous drivers.

        Even the best drivers in the world, even the likes of Alonso and Hamilton, are where they are because of a series of circumstances and lucky breaks. While plenty of drivers who had just as much potential have fallen by the wayside.

        F1 is not a meritocracy at either end of the grid.

    2. Yes and Alonso should be in the top team, talent wise hes certainly the best. hes in a car 4 seconds off. f1 logic, go f1gure

  16. “This dream has been taken away from me and I know that my future in Formula One is probably over.”

    Despite all things in court and Sauber related; that statement could also have been said when he spent I don’t know how long in GP2. Whatever the levels of respect you have for the person, GVDG is basically the definition of a pay driver, and as far as pay drivers go there’s plenty faster and skilled around.

    1. Also, I find this a little bit overkill

      “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.”

      These drivers are rich enough to bring a lawyer to their negotiations to make sure everything legal is in order. If you sign a contract it is up to both parties to honor it, and one that doesn’t faces court. It’s like that in any case where contracts are signed…

      1. … He’s better then Ericsson. @xtwl

        Also I don’t get what you’re trying to say/

        It is up to both parties to honor it

        Sauber were doing absolutely everything in their power to not honour the contract, including citing safety grounds which Jenson said was rubbish.
        Given the rumours that Bernie pressured an agreement between the two, his rights have absolutely been violated. Considering the higher up powers are essentially siding with Sauber over this, as bullying one driver into submission is much better for them then having the sport in disrepute because of authorities seizing assets, which it sounds like Giedo could have done at the click of his fingers. Him asking for a legislation from the FIA to further protect the rights of drivers is completely fair.
        Whether he is ‘rich enough’ has absolutely nothing to do with it, nor his skill level (which is more then adequate).

        I’ve grown to respect him for the way he’s gone about it, and I now reserve a deep loathing for Monisha.

        1. @mickey18 I never said Ericcson was better than him, both don’t really have a place on my ideal 2015 F1 grid.

          And I completely agree Sauber didn’t honor the contract in this case but in the end that is the purpose of a contract, to protect both parties their interest in an agreement. I also agree Sauber is in the wrong here, I wasn’t defending them at all. But forcing another new set of rules for something that actually goes beyond the FIA, a contract between two parties, isn’t really needed in my view. Just respect from both parties to honor a signed contract and as I said, if they don’t it’ll end up in court.

          1. Yeah I suppose I agree. Shouldn’t be a rule for something that’s already legally binding. However if Giedo felt compelled to take a financial settlement rather then fight for his preferred option (a drive) which is already his legal right because someone from the FIA or Bernie said he isn’t allowed to go on like this, then maybe a quick rule saying the FIA are not allowed to intervene in matters that are currently within the courts. I just feel Sauber have gotten off lightly with illegal management because it was the path of least resistance for everyone except the GvdG

          2. @xtwl Actually, this doesn’t go beyond the FIA. They specifically formed a Contracts Recognition Board to mandate and maintain valid contracts between teams & drivers in all their officially recognised racing series, but they seem to have been completely blindsided by Monisha writing to them in February saying ‘I cancelled Giedo’s contract last week because of some false half-reason’…

            Questions need to be asked of why they just accepted her word and clearly didn’t know about the ongoing litigation between the parties.

  17. Within two years time Sauber signed (test or race) contracts with 9 drivers: Sutil, Gutierrez, Frijns, Sirotkin, vd Garde, Di Silvestro, Nasr, Ericsson and Bianchi. It’s not a coincidence the Vd Garde saga happened at Sauber.
    Good thing is that Sauber alone could cover half of the entire starting grid…

  18. Don’t worry Giedo, there is always Formula E

  19. Oh, no. First him now Taki Inoue.

  20. Was this just installment No 1 ?? – and do we still have the Sutil Court case to come ( although he doesn’t like the Courts after the last case )

  21. I just heard Sauber announced Singapore Airlines as a new partner. I would have thought Easyjet would be a better fit, they sell more tickets than seats available…

    1. Ahahahahah!!! @keithcollantine I think we have COTD!

    2. Nah, definitely IKEA now. They have lots of seats for sale and they won’t have to repaint the car!

  22. You (v. d. Garde) might still have a future…..with RTL.

  23. I had great respect for Sauber. They were my fav as a mid-field team. This whole thing has put them in a very bad light. The recent events made me lose a lot of respect for Monisha Kaltenborn. Getting money, promising something to a driver in a contract and then signing up somebody else is something as close as “Cheating” although I don’t want to use such a heavy word for it.

    It has put F1 in a bad light altogether.

  24. Tried to buy the team at end of last and couldn’t.
    Maybe he got a share of it on this agreement.

  25. I have no idea what poisoned Vdg with Sauber management, but he clearly had a valid case and argument, as the court decisions showed. He could have really put the hammer to Sauber if he chose to, but he wisely was not vindictive and got his money and made his point without harming the team and their other two young talented drivers. It’s a shame Sauber let it come to this…their management has certainly taken a public perception hit, and they’ve certainly taken a financial hit a team that depends on pay to race drivers certainly cannot afford…how is someone not fired after this fiasco? It boggles the mind. Madness.

  26. “I decided I did not want to live with that idea, even though it was only the team’s management that was responsible for the bizarre situation I found myself in.”

    Sir i take my cap of and salute your love for motorsport, and the refusal to drag 2 other drivers out with you.

  27. Brave and respected decision by Van der Garde there. Well done.

    If it were me I would have chased that drive and given them no option, but a lot of respect for agreeing to let it go. No respect for Sauber from me.

  28. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a legally binding contract being viewed as nothing more than a ‘suggestion’. Kudos to VdG for not allowing himself to be bullied out of what was rightfully his and taking a stand against an employer acting in a thoroughly reprehensible way (mitigating circumstances notwithstanding). And even more kudos by knowing when to stop when the stakes for other innocent parties became too high. I do think he won’t be welcome in the F1 paddock again, which is a shame because he is entitled to hold his head up high. I wish him well in another category or whatever path life takes him on from here.

  29. Giedo didn’t talk a word about his father in law that was intended to purchase the Sauber team…

    1. @jorgeairesortiz I don’t think that was anything more than a rumour… A plausible one (especially in the wonderful world that is modern F1) but a rumour none-the-less.

      …for now…

  30. Very well handled by Giedo (obviously learned from the PR disasters by pretty much all Dutch F1 drivers before him after leaving teams/F1) and I’m glad he at least got something out of it. Hopefully he can continue to rac; I don’t think he’s an amazing talent, but good enough to warrant a career as paid driver in motorsports.

    I’d like to echo the sentiment about Sauber, but truth be told they have squandered their goodwill with me over a much longer period of time. From not treating De La Rosa and Heidfeld with a lot of (visible) respect, to the rather disappointing driver line up of 2014 (and somehow not managing to improve Gutirerez all that much in 2 seasons), they’ve kind of dug their own hole, in my opinion. To me it looks as if Sauber has been aiming for short-term gains for quite some time now and have lost their long term goals in the process. Nico Hulkenberg is one of the best-mannered drivers when talking to the press, but even he has pointed the finger to Sauber over the past 2 years over payments and siding with Giedo at Melbourne.

    I wish them well as a team and frankly, am very impressed with Nasr, but with Ericsson in the other car and this entire saga, I don’t think Sauber will be gaining a lot of hearts soon.

  31. He should have let the police seize the cars.

  32. Thought GvdG was pursuing what’s right, but looks like he just wanted money.
    Otherwise he would have let justice take it’s course in Melbourne.

  33. Wasn’t it over already?
    He didn’t make the best impression against Pic on Caterham. And Pic himself is also out.

    There’s plenty of life outside F1. Barrichello, for example, fought hard to be there until the end. Got no team to drive. Went back to Brazil and won a championship again after more than 20 years.

    I bet that is more satisfying than to just drive on F1 achieving nothing.

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