HOT SEAT AT LAST: Sidelined driver Giedo van der Garde has apparently won his battle with Sauber for his Formula 1 race seat. Image: AP / Manu Fernandez
MELBOURNE, Australia - Formula 1 hopeful Giedo van der Garde arrived at the Albert Park race track early on Friday and headed straight into the Sauber garage.
The development followed his lawyers filing a contempt-of-court action against the Swiss team under which Sauber was instructed to compile a list of its assets currently in Melbourne.
They and the driver, having cleared every legal hurdle so far in enforcing the Dutchman's 2015 race contract, had argued that Sauber was doing nothing to facilitate the 29-year-old's participation in the 2015 season-opener.
CARS IN PERIL
Indeed, Sauber had even argued in court there was "no practical way we can allow (and) facilitate Mr van der Garde in this new C34 Ferrari which he has not previously" driven.
Had Sauber not obeyed the Supreme Court its 2015 race cars might have been immediately seized by Australian authorities.
So, with Friday practice looming at Albert Park, Van der Garde obtained a paddock pass, slipped on the shorter Marcus Ericsson's overalls, and had a seat fitting in the Swedish driver's car.
He will not, however, drive this weekend in Melbourne because he does not yet have the mandatory F1 superlicence.
Sources report that his first race for Sauber will be in Malaysia two weeks hence.