Despite the twitter assertions from the BBC and SKY that the Van der Garde v Sauber dispute is over – it is not.
Having been timed out for a super license to drive this weekend, the Dutchman’s legal team decided that to insist on Justice Croft issuing a contempt order and see the Sauber cars impounded, did not fit their agenda best.
The decision to withdraw the contempt application is the action of someone who still believes he will need to have dealings with the team further down the line.
The contempt order would have almost certainly been granted had Giedo’s legal advisors pressed for this action.
Van der Garde issued this statement: “With respect to the interest of motorsport, and F1 in particular, I have decided to give up my legal rights to race this weekend at the Melbourne Grand Prix.
“As I am a passionate race driver this decision has been very difficult for me. However I also wish to respect the interest of the FIA, Sauber Motorsport, as well as Nasr and Ericsson.
“My management will continue talks with Sauber early next week to find a mutually acceptable solution for the current situation that has now arisen.
“I am confident such solution will be found and I will inform the media once done.”
It is important to understand the rulings from Switzerland and now Australia which state Sauber must engage Van der Garde as a race driver under the terms of his original contract still stand.
Were Giedo van der Garde’s motive to merely maximise his cash payout position he would surely have pressed the issue and forced Ericsson and Nasr out of the F1 weekend. Yet the Dutchman chose another course of action.
As was suggested in the previous TJ13 Sauber feature article yesterday, from 2016 onwards it becomes progressively difficult to obtain an F1 super license. Van der Garde is not scheduled to race in any other series and whilst he qualifies for a super license in 2016 under the points system, by 2017 he would not. However, Giedo would qualify in 2017 were he to race 5 F1 grand prix this year and 5 races in 2016.
If Sauber accept this reasoning as his motivation for the legal action to date, even his co-drivers Nasr and Ericsson would surely understand Giedo’s plight.
Setting aside the Machiavellian theories, which see Van der Garde’s father-in-law plotting to bankrupt Sauber and then buy them on the cheap – this is a reasonable proposition.
Whatever the behind the scenes agenda, the behaviour of Van der Garde and his legal team has been to promote goodwill and obtain a result where the dutchman drives at some point this year.
So maybe 3 drivers into 2 cars will eventually be the order of the day – and Monisha devotees will get their ménage a trois after all.