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F1: Van der Garde wins, but now his race begins

By Barry Park, 12 Mar 2015 Motorsport

F1: Van der Garde wins, but now his race begins

Giedo van der Garde has fought off an appeal from Sauber to block his Australian Grand Prix start, but he is likely to still have a fight on his hands

GIEDO van der Garde has fought off an appeal from Sauber to block his Australian Formula One Grand Prix start, but he is likely to still have a fight on his hands.

The Dutchman today had more weight given to his bid to drive for the Swiss team after the Victorian Appeals Court upheld a Supreme Court decision that his contract was still valid, despite Sauber making moves to replace him.

In the latest move, van der Garde is believed to be asking the Australian courts to stump up an enforceable undertaking that will compel Sauber to honour the appeals court's decision.

"There is no practical way we can allow, facilitate Mr van der Garde in this new C34-Ferrari which he has not previously raced," Sauber lawyer Rodney Garratt told the three Supreme Court justices overseeing the case.

"The last time he did any competitive driving was in November 2013," he said.

The Sauber car, officially the C34-Ferrari has improved its performance in slow corners compared with last year, cut its weight and improved braking stability.

Exactly which of Sauber's three contracted drivers - van der Garde, Swede Marcus Ericsson and surprise recruit Brazilian rookie Felipe Nasr - will take to the track tomorrow when the first official practice session kicks off at 12.30 tomorrow remains up in the air.