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Sauber to appeal Van der Garde ruling

2015-03-11 11:33

HAPPINESS: Sauber driver Giedo van der Garde shows how pleased he is after hearing he can race on Sunday. Image: AFP, Mal Fairclough.

MELBOURNE, Australia - Sauber is to appeal against a Melbourne court ruling that its driver Giedo van der Garde should race for the Swiss Formula 1 team this weekend.

Earlier on Wednesday, a Melbourne Supreme Court judge sided with the Dutchman after he was replaced despite having a valid 2015 contract.

"I reject the arguments advanced by the respondent (Sauber) and the other drivers (Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr)," said Judge Croft.

SAFETY OF TEAM

He said Van der Garde's right to contest the Australian Grand Prix would be "enforced".

Sauber had said in court that it did not have enough time to safely adjust Nasr or Ericsson's car to accommodate Van der Garde. "What we cannot do is jeopardise the safety of our team, or any other driver on the track," team boss and co-owner Monisha Kaltenborn, who is also a lawyer, said in a media statement.

Sauber has elected to appeal against the decision, with a new hearing scheduled for Wednesday (March 11) afternoon (Melbourne time), later moved to Thursday.

Van der Garde later on Wednesday declared himself "happy, fit and ready to drive" in Melbourne this weekend.

For Sauber, however, the ruling could be devastating after the team almost collapsed in late 2014 and only immediate sponsor payments from Ericsson and Nasr kept it afloat.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every day.

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