'No licence, no driving' for F1 Sauber's Giedo van der Garde
Formula One driver Giedo van der Gande may not be seen in the Australian Grand Prix this weekend despite a court throwing out his team's appeal after race director Charlie Whiting confirmed the Dutchman did not have a licence to race.
Melbourne: Formula One driver Giedo van der Gande may not be seen in the Australian Grand Prix this weekend despite a court throwing out his team's appeal after race director Charlie Whiting confirmed the Dutchman did not have a licence to race.
In a Victoria court on Thursday, F1 team Sauber had its appeal against van der Garde thrown out. The court's decision reinforced that van der Garde was guaranteed a 2015 seat in the team, reports Xinhua.
However, the 29-year-old is still yet to renew his Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Super Licence, a requirement to drive in F1.
Whiting, FIA F1 race director, said here on Thursday van der Garde could not take to the track until his team applied for a licence on his behalf.
"Every driver has to apply for a licence every year. Lots of drivers qualify automatically every year but it is always valid for just one year," he said.
"The team has to apply for it through the driver's ASN (national motor racing body).
"There are procedures," he said. "I'm not involved. The safety department in Geneva is responsible for that."
With the FIA emphasising extra safety this season with a raft of car and procedural changes, it is very unlikely van der Garde will have his super licence application accelerated in time for the weekend.
A Swiss arbitration court had already ruled Sauber could not deny the F1 journeyman the right to drive for the team, and he sought to have the ruling enforced in this jurisdiction.
Whether Sauber's optimal choice as second driver, Brazilian Felipe Nasr, will take to the track is also up in the air. Nasr has a licence, has driven in preseason testing and was listed as teammate to Kevin Magnussen in FIA documentation prior to the dismissed court appeal.
Van der Garde made his F1 debut in Melbourne two years ago for the Caterham F1 team, competing in 19 races. He moved to Sauber as a test driver last year.