At the start of the season, Sauber got off to a rough start. It wasn’t that their car’s performance was bad, but rather that their contracts were. In the 2014 season, the team gave Giedo van der Garde a racing contract in exchange for funds. The team spent the funds and violated van der Garde’s contract by signing two new drivers for 2015. Seeing as the money was spent, Sauber could not return it and the legal battle began. Sauber ended up reaching an agreement with van der Garde, paying him back his money. Many people have forgotten that this identical situation will happen again.
In 2014, Sauber had a contract with German racing driver, Adrian Sutil, which also was carried over into the 2015 season. Now a days, Sutil can be found with the Williams team as a reserve driver, after being punted out of the Sauber team. This situation is all too familiar to the one just before Australia. According to a Finnish newspaper, Sutil has a contract that is nearly identical to van der Garde’s, meaning this will not be good for Sauber.
Sauber, a team being affected by the financial crisis that has cast over the sport, could be forced to pay another settlement. According to reports, van der Garde’s settlement was a whopping 15 million euros and it is reasonable to expect that Sutil will want the same value. Of course the amount could be different for Sutil depending on just how similar van der Garde’s contract is to his own.
Seeing as the season has already started and they have two drivers that have brought in a lot of sponsorship money, the team will have little choice but to pay a settlement. There is no saying what damage having to pay more funds could do to the team. Sauber is among the large group of teams that are on the verge of a collapse and are in great need of more funding. Things were looking positive for the Swiss team; scoring points in the first race of the season, after having their worst season ever in 2014.