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Sauber woes down under #F1 #AusGP

There is something about the Van der Garde fiasco at Sauber that doesn’t add up and, apart from all of the stupidities around this weekend’s race; it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Why would you want to force a team to take you as a driver? You can argue that the team are not going to mess up your car because they want to do well, but it is a team effort in F1 and that means everyone being on the same side and pulling together. To have someone forcing their way into a race seat is not going to engender any feelings of goodwill.

It isn’t going to do your reputation any good either, for who is going to want a driver who pulls this sort of stunt? However deep the pockets of your backers are, and Giedo is not packing that much green stuff or he wouldn’t have lost his seat in the first place, who is going to want someone on the team when this is how they behave? He isn’t anywhere near fast enough to get a drive on merit alone.

In terms of seeking damages he has to show that he has been damaged and about all that he has to offer is a reputation as a moderately good driver that can bring a few quid to a team. His current behaviour is doing far more damage to that reputation than not getting a drive has done. Before this ludicrous court case he might have had some sympathy around the sport as someone who wasn’t too bad behind the wheel who had just been gazumped out of a ride; happens all the time, shame and all that, but that’s life. Now he is putting himself in danger of being a pariah.

So why is this going on? Is it an attempt to damage the value of Sauber so that someone else can muscle in and buy the cheaper than they were valued a few weeks ago? F1 has had a bit of a purge, but could just be starting to come back up again and that could be an attraction to some of the sharks who are circling trying to buy in. Sauber are a much better team that, say, Caterham or Manor and both they and Force India could be open to a buyer moving into the sport.

Who knows what the real reasons behind Giedo’s court case are, but they are damaging to the sport. You could argue that Sauber brought this upon themselves, but they should have the right to choose who drives their cars. This situation has arisen because Giedo brought it to court. From our perspective the FIA should punish him accordingly. This situation would not happen in NASCAR or even Indycar because their sanctioning bodies protect the brand. In F1 we have a mess because the governing body is week.

Still, it’s keeping F1 in the news and maybe that will help to sell a few tickets. Surely that can’t be why Bernie and Jean are so quiet?


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