Sauber ‘surprised’ by Giedo statement

Date published: March 19 2015

Sauber have hit back at Giedo van der Garde, saying they "cannot understand" the reasoning behind their former driver's statement.

On Wednesday, van der Garde announced that he had eached an agreement with the Swiss team to terminate his deal to race in this year's championship.

He said he felt "sad and am very disappointed" as he had "hoped at last to be able to show what I am capable of, driving a car for a respected midfield team in the 2015 season.

"This dream has been taken away from me and I know that my future in Formula One is probably over."

The Dutchman, who revealed that his sponsors had made "advanced payments that helped the team survive in 2014" when he signed as the team's test driver last year, added that he had received "significant compensation" from Sauber for giving up his right to race.

"Sauber’s financial decision-making in this case is bizarre and makes no sense to me," the statement read.

"I am not at liberty to discuss details, but Sauber paid significant compensation to avoid honouring the contract they had with me. Only in that respect can I be satisfied that my rights have finally been recognised and that at least some justice has been done."

Sauber have hit back with a statment of their own.

According to the Swiss team, they were "rather surprised" to read what van der Garde had said and encouraged people to draw their own conclusions.

"We don't know about Giedo’s intentions. He may try to present himself as a winner, while we had actually hoped to come to rest after our agreement. Giedo decided to take a different approach – the reasoning behind we cannot understand," said the team's statement.

"We’d have very good answers to the many statements and accusations in Giedo’s post. But to expand on this wouldn’t help our race team nor our fans and partners. It would only encourage a mud fight via the media and we will not lend ourselves to that. The next race in Malaysia is where our focus is and that’s where we will build up on last weekend’s success together with our drivers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr. All our efforts are drawn to this objective.

"With this in mind we’d like to encourage you to form your own opinion about what happened, however critical it may be. From our side we herewith close the matter and look already forward to celebrating future achievements at the race track together with you."