Giedo hopes Sauber debacle changes F1


Giedo van der Garde has revealed how he was given the cold shoulder from many people at Sauber after he won his court case, but he is still hopeful the saga will lead to change in F1.

After losing his 2015 race seat with the team, the Dutchman went down the legal route and a Swiss court ruled in his favour, ordering the team to hand him a drive for 2015.

The Hinwil squad appealed the decision, but the Supreme Court of Victoria upheld the original ruling and also rejected a second appeal from the team.

Van der Garde arrived at Albert Park on the Friday before the race and made his way to the Sauber garage, but he didn't receive a very warm welcome.

"You feel very strange. I find it very hard to describe what I was feeling, but I knew I had to stay calm," he told Dutch magazine Formule 1.

"I should have gone to the team and said 'Hello, I'm here to drive'. That was true. But then I went to the motorhome and nobody said hello. All the people I worked with before, they ignore you. Nobody looks at you and you think to yourself 'what's going on here?'

"I walked to (team manager) Beat (Zehnder) and he shoved me a race suit and shoes and said 'put it on'. I dressed in the garage to have the seat fitting, but the pedals were set up for (Marcus) Ericsson. Nothing could be changed. They didn't adjust the foam – nothing.

"I don't know what the team said to those guys, but if they are honest, they must acknowledge that they received their salaries through our early payment in 2014. And then suddenly we are seen as the bad guys, which is of course bulls**t!"

Van der Garde and Sauber eventually settled their case out of court with Ericsson and Felipe Nasr racing in Australia.

The 29-year-old, though, says he was hoping for a bit more respect from everyone at Sauber.

He added: "I understand that they were worried their jobs were in jeopardy, but I think we deserved a little more credit. I spent a year working with them and then everything was fantastic, and now not even a decent goodbye.

"Only the engineers behaved normally, saying 'I agree with you. If I was treated like that I too would stand up for my rights'. It's nice when you get respect like that, including from drivers and team bosses.

"Sure, I'm out of the seat, my dream is gone, but I think this might change F1.

"I have spoken to Alexander Wurz, the chairman of the GPDA, and he is adamant that there should be better fairness in Formula 1. I hope he succeeds, because this must never happen again."