The Sauber F1 Team find themselves in the ludicrous situation of having three contracted drivers for two seats after their appeal to the ruling that 2014 test driver Giedo van der Garde should indeed race this season was thrown out.
With the 2015 Formula 1 season less than twenty-four hours away, twenty-nine-year-old Dutchman van der Garde looks set to force his way onto the grid, with one of Swede Marcus Ericsson and Brazilian Felipe Nasr the possible scapegoat.
Twenty-four hours previously, the Victorian Supreme Court found in favour of van der Garde, and now the appeal court has upheld this decision, citing:
“We did not consider this course [the appeal by Sauber] to be in the interest of justice,” read a statement from the court.
“The appeal is dismissed because we see no error in the reasons of the trial judge.”
The judge also dismissed Sauber’s claims that running van der Garde would be unsafe, as he has not tested the 2015 C34.
“As the judge observed, these events are highly-regulated and we are sure that all safety requirements will be complied with.”
Sauber had claimed that van der Garde did not possess the necessary superlicence to race in Formula 1, but again this claim was dismissed.
Further court proceedings are scheduled for Friday morning, mere hours before the scheduled start of the Formula 1 season with free practice in Australia. It could be possible that if Sauber do not provide van der Garde with a drive, then the court could ask for the seizure of Sauber’s assets in Australia, with fears about the team’s ability to participate in the season opener mounting.