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Sauber loses again

NEWS STORY
18/03/2015

Sauber's attempt to address Giedo Van der Garde's comments backfire badly for the Swiss team.

Just moments after Giedo Van der Garde issued his statement relating to his legal wranglings with Sauber in Melbourne, the Swiss team issued a press release of its own.

However, rather than addressing the various points the Dutch racer had made, including the end of his F1 career, the fact that it had lost legal cases in Australia and Switzerland and ultimately been forced to pay "significant compensation", the Swiss outfit announced Singapore Airlines as a new partner.

Several hours later the Hinwil outfit finally addressed the issue. Taking to Twitter, in addition to revealing the hashtag #LetsRaceNotFight (groan), it issued a brief, somewhat patronising statement of its own.

It read:

"Many of you read today's statement on Giedo van der Garde's Facebook page. So have we and we were, indeed, rather surprised. 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.

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."

Unfortunately, whilst wishing to avoid a "mud fight", yet taking the opportunity for another swipe at the Dutch driver, the Swiss team called on race fans to form their own opinion.

They did, and for the most part it wasn't complimentary.

Ruud Oegema: If i listen to the judges only (and not to Guido) then it's clearly that Sauber made a mess off things. Shame on you.

Sean Du It's what happens when you sign four drivers for two cars you greedy dicks!

Mike Wassenaar Your new airline partners is also great in overbooking seats...

Hidde Boogaard An expexted comment; take your responsibility, you did things the wrong way. His accusations are completely justified, he is a passionate driver and he thought he had a chance to race with you, since he had a contract. I've lost a lot of respect for Sauber, you can't treat people like this.

Dario Sinnige Fight for your dream. And his dream is racing, its his passion. Why would he not fight it? I think he did a great job! This should be a wake up call to all drivers

Scott Franklin The court says that you screwed Giedo. We all saw that you signed more drivers than you had seats for. To use an American colloquialism, it seems that you "robbed Peter to pay Paul". You have permanently lost a fan in me. I will actively avoid all of your sponsors. We don't need thieves in F1.

Wilbert Baan "He may try to present himself as a winner" of course he does! He won every lawsuit against you guys. A really stupid press release sauber.

Nick Callisto You took his money to keep the team alive, then ditched him for 2 drivers with more money, what did you expect?

Ashley Dent-Davis I am no fan of Sauber or Guido but for him too win two court cases against you in two different countries than he must have had a good case and for Sauber to pay him to cancel his contract than you must know you have done something wrong

James van Bregt PR fail, Sauber. You lost in law, while your team principal is a contracts and arbitration lawyer. Your losing counter argument was one of safety, suggesting GvdG has simply stated the facts, as accepted by the Courts. You dealt dishonestly, and yet you seek to paint him in a bad light. Shameful.

On and on it went.

As one fan succinctly concluded: Maybe hire a social media expert instead of 4 drivers.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Stitch431, 26/03/2015 5:11

"I guess the only reason they were able to pay of van der garde is that Bernie took care of the bill since otherwise there would have been less than 14 cars on the grid and that would have meant that the F1 supremo did not fulfil his contract with race organizers in Melbourne, a fact that he clearly could not allow to happen. A shame really as I would have liked to see van der Garde racing according to his contract as he deserved or otherwise see the responsible person enjoying the consequences of foul play. From Sauber (or was it Monisha personally who clearly is not capable of admitting a mistake) I would have expected a more mature reply. They surely did not think this trhrough before placing this on social media. I also expected Peter Sauber to step in and sack Mrs. Kaltenborn in order to reinstate the credibility for himslef and his team but for some reason he does not seem to have the power to do so any more as I cannot imagine that someone with his reputation is happy with her dealings. Maybe this is a case for Pitpass to figure out as I hold in high regard their ability to uncover plots like this."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Selva, 20/03/2015 15:31

"One thing is evident. Either the leadership is so naive and immature to handle driver contract in this way or the team have lot bigger problems to address than this..

Either way, its a shame..."

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3. Posted by Mocha, 19/03/2015 19:46

"To me, the only way they can control the PR damage would be to issue an apology and secure a drive for Giedo a drive for next year. If not with them, then somewhere. Sauber doesn't sell products, so the bad rep won't hurt them in that regard, but it might makes sponsors think twice, and surely they can't afford that. "

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by Martin B, 19/03/2015 18:02

"Shame on you Peter Sauber. You need to sack Kaltenborn (and I guess your lawyers). Giedo's sponsors paid you in advance in good faith and to help your team out, then you stab them and Guido in the back. I'm quite sure that if you'd repaid them and compensated Guido back then you would be paying a lot less than I assume you will be paying now. Not only that, your reputation has gone down the toilet. Next stop a lawsuit from the cheated sponsor??????"

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5. Posted by testa rossa, 19/03/2015 17:07

"sad sad story , hopefully drivers get more respect from teams in the future and contracts are respected too.
Sauber was screw*ed by BMW and recently by the topteams so you would think they would not do it to others but in F1 is a piranha pool. Kill or get killed. "

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6. Posted by nealio, 19/03/2015 16:52

"I applaud Sauber for taking the high road. These "comments" are just haters wagging their tongues."

Rating: Negative (-7)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

7. Posted by imejl99, 19/03/2015 14:54

"Sauber vs Van der Garde, or "how to destroy 40 years of name building in a year""

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

8. Posted by Roope, 19/03/2015 13:00

"The unacceptable and unprofessional behaviour of Sauber should be scrutinized by FIA. While Sauber brought disrepute on itself and its sponsors its actions are also reflecting badly on the F1 brand. The Team deserves a punishment. They effectively ended Giedo's F1 career."

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9. Posted by Mugmug, 19/03/2015 12:24

"I have always been a fan of Sauber and applaud the integrity that Peter Sauber brought to F1. Unfortunately, the team has taken a turn for the worst, it seems ever since Monisha Kaltenborn took over the day to day running of the team. I am no longer a fan of the team and can see that it's going to fold in the near future.
Sauber used to be one of the most popular teams, even as a mid-fielder. I KNOW this is not the case anymore. "

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10. Posted by Steve W, 19/03/2015 8:34

"Well, I'm relieved that Sauber has encouraged me to form my own opinion. I already had - and it was negative - but I didn't want to say anything because I didn't want to get into any legal hassles with the team... "

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11. Posted by RPrior, 19/03/2015 7:04

"A Dishonest act - Acts is more appropriate (Theft & Breach of Contract Law & Contempt of Court)by an F1 Team has brought disrepute to the sport.

It appears that F1's supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, has taken this on board and is helping (or even paying in full) the Sauber settlement to end the dispute.

There must be a fall "guy" (lass) who takes the blame for this fiasco and crime. "

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12. Posted by nonickname, 19/03/2015 6:17

"Good comment Joop....but don't they have to be good looking at least? Prostitutes that is!"

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13. Posted by Joop deBruin, 19/03/2015 2:07

"Lesson to be learned: never trust a lawyer. I love the English term Solicitor which is American for prostitute. Perfect fit!"

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14. Posted by SideGlance, 19/03/2015 1:58

"Bizarre seems an appropriate word, 'greedy liars & legally confusing' might be others. Bizarre because apparently Sauber may have paid a financial penalty + GVD's 2014 investment WHEN I suspect they can NOT afford these expenses - bizarre indeed.

ANY pride of leadership should be dismissed by such silly actions of having a 'legal' set of 4 drivers for 2015 for 2 seats - musical MORON chairs anyone?

Bizarre indeed ! Sauber should be a team extremely avoided until new leadership is in place for future potential drivers, and it is best to get voice and video recordings of all contract/sponsorship negotiations - some blackmail evidence would NOT hurt either !!

I certainly can NOT believe Sauber himself would have done such nonsense - too much integrity, surely lacking in current team leader."

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15. Posted by Canuck, 18/03/2015 23:30

"Even under difficulties, honour should come first. I applaud Guido's tenacity in bringing the way F1 teams regard contracts. They have always been a piece of paper best used in the toilet. He has won a battle for all F1 drivers present and future. Maybe now teams will sign with honour."

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