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Australian GP

Van der Garde dropped his legal action against Sauber



Van der Garde appeal delayed
Giedo van der Garde has dropped his legal action against Sauber at the Australian grand prix.

The warring parties were back at court on the morning of practice and qualifying in Melbourne, but the Dutch driver’s lawyer said a settlement has been reached.

“I’ve very glad to see a settlement,” the judge confirmed.

“There are very few cases started, appealed and contempt proceedings resolved within eight days.”

Some in the paddock sensed the hand of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, even though the 84-year-old remains in London.

“The negative headlines have significantly tarnished the start of the new season,” said the major German newspaper Bild.

Sauber’s image has also taken a beating amid the saga.

“I’m not surprised, no,” said former Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg when asked about the Hinwil-based team’s methods.

“I know the people there, I know how they work. Giedo is only asking for what he was promised,” he was quoted by Welt newspaper.

The Swiss team, whose chief Monisha Kaltenborn was earlier facing jail over contempt of court, said “constructive talks” with van der Garde’s management will now take place away from court.

Van der Garde said he had decided to settle “with respect to the interest of motor sport, and F1 in particular”.

“My management will continue talks with Sauber early next week to find a mutually acceptable solution for the current situation that has now arisen,” he added.

It is believed that could involve van der Garde pressing his case to race in Malaysia in two weeks, and beyond.

Indeed, the local Melbourne court confirmed that despite the settlement, the judgements in Switzerland and in Australia that van der Garde’s 2015 contract can be enforced “still stand”.

Earlier, van der Garde defended his stance on the basis he just wants to race.

“I want to show how fast I am in the car and what I can do,” he told Dutch radio 3FM. (GMM)


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