Sauber F1 Team 2015

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Cold Fussion
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Re: Sauber F1 Team 2015

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It still boggles my mind that some people here think it's ok to be fraudulent in order to keep the team alive.

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Phil
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Re: Sauber F1 Team 2015

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turbof1 wrote:Again, payment is always an opt-out clausule. You can terminate any contract at any time, regardless what the wishes are of the other contractee, as long as you respect the clausules that stipulate compensation.

...

That's not speculation, that's European Law. Regardless of what vd Garde wants.
Do we know that? Reading this, makes it seem there is always a clause within a contract to deal with any black & white scenario. Is it, that simple? I've signed numerous employment contracts as I'm sure most people have - and I am yet to come across one where there is a compensation clause if I was not to fullfill my obligation(s) as an employee (or employer). Granted, VdG was a bit more than just a simple employee, as there is a financial side to it. So it's probably not a simple employee-contract we're looking at, but something with [financial] contractual clauses. On some level, I must assume that there were some clauses, even compensation clauses. But to what degree? I am hardly expecting a contract that sais "don't fullfill x, pay y". So if the situation isn't handled explicitly in the contract, it becomes a complex mess, one that usually must be solved through a court - which is precisely what happened. And in that, you can bet of course that VdG and Co. play on the fact that they've been wronged and that they would praise a F1 seat to be end of be all opportunity and of priceless value. I would too.

So we come to these likely scenarios:

A.) There were compensation clauses and were handled in the contract, but Sauber couldn't afford to pay them -> court
B.) There were compensation clauses, but none that fit the exact scenario -> court

Another point is - (and again, I'm simply repeating what was already pointed out ~10 pages ago) - that the contract wasn't a simple one between VdG & Sauber, but with one of his firms and/or backers. To add another layer of complexity, he was already paying sponsorship for 2014 as his role as a test-driver. From reports, we know that the payment of further payments in 2014 resulted in "options being activated that ensured he shall be nominated for a 2015 race seat". So again, this doesn't sound like a race-seat contract - just a contract with layers of complexity that stipulated 'guarantees' that if x, y and z occur and are fullfilled [payments], that he will be entitled to be nominated for a race seat, which, if done correctly, would lead to a written "seat-employee-contract" when everything becomes official. To his surprise, however, in November 2014, it wasn't him who got that contract to sign, but Nasr and Ericsson.

So the whole chaotic situation comes down; VdG is pissed because he [from his view] had a legal claim to the seat because some clauses in his testdriver contract were activated in mid 2014 when payments were made [that also kept the team alive and functioning] and Sauber, who have always maintained that they did not have a contract with him as a driver for 2015 are also technically not incorrect. Fast forward in time, VdG goes to the Arbitration court in Switzerland, who then rules in the first instance that VdG did in fact have a valid contract that gave him a legal and binding claim to one of the 2015 seats and importantly, preceedes any other contract the team may have later signed with any other driver (Nasr/Ericsson). And at that point, of course VdG will be arguing that he wants the seat, rather a 'compensation' that will make it all go away.

So again, I'm not making excuses; I do believe that VdG had a legally binding claim to the seat which wasn't fullfilled, but at the same time, this wasn't going to go away by simply paying "compensation", unless this exact [<- keyword] scenario was already pre-handled in the contract (which was a test-driver role + with extensions as we know), to which a court could either say "pay as it sais in the contract or give him the seat". And if it wasn't exactly handled, then it was always going to become a complex matter, which to be fair, helped Sauber, because it enabled them to crucially buy some time as the court delt with it, but at the same time put them in a very uncomfortable situation come Melbourne when VdG had them by the balls and also damaged their reputation as this topic nicely shows.
Cold Fussion wrote:It still boggles my mind that some people here think it's ok to be fraudulent in order to keep the team alive.
It also boggles the mind how quick people are to jump to conclusions to which we have no way of knowing how complex the matter is and after all these countless of pages, still only heard one view-point.


To not waste much more time repeating what has already been said countless of times; Do we have any F1 insiders who can talk with some authority on how F1 contracts look like, or more interestingly (and relevantly), "test-driver / pay-driver" contracts with perhaps extensions that are there to promote drivers into a potential race seat?
Not for nothing, Rosberg's Championship is the only thing that lends credibility to Hamilton's recent success. Otherwise, he'd just be the guy who's had the best car. — bhall II
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Re: Sauber F1 Team 2015

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Do we know that? Reading this, makes it seem there is always a clause within a contract to deal with any black & white scenario. Is it, that simple? I
Yes it is that simple! Contracts are made for the exact purpose to make things black and white. A contract without stipulating the escape clausule violates european law. If that would have been the case and Sauber was willing to pay off vd Garde, you would have both appointing an expert, each expert weighting the damage in his own advantage and probably ending up in court determining what the compensation needs to be.

All of that did not happen! The fact also thay Sauber and vd Garde reached a settlement so quickly after the Australian GP means Sauber finally paid off the escape clausule (it was reported Sauber got a quick advance on its price money). From that point on vd Garde had nothing anymore to go to court.

There are a lot of things to speculate in life, but this is not one of them. These contracts are made with outstanding lawyers given the fact we speak about several million pounds; you are not going to find a grey area.

Regarding your own contracts: I do not know where you are from, but inside the European Union you get a compensation (usually several months of salary) when your employer fires you for non-urgent (urgent means here: a very big mistake from the employee, like fraud) reasons. The employee has more rights, able to leave at any time if he gives a few weeks notice. Of course if you are working for an interim bureau, things change.

However, in vd Garde's case it is more complicated then simply employer-employee contract. Sauber did not made the deal with vd Garde the person; the other contractee was the firm vd Garde NV. That firm hired a service from Sauber, the seat. Purely for tax optimalisation probably, but it is not an employer-employee contract. It's a contract between 2 firms where one hires out a seat to the other firm.
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Phil
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Re: Sauber F1 Team 2015

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...however, in vd Garde's case it is more complicated then simply employer-employee contract?

Wait, so... you are in fact agreeing with me? :P Because if it is black & white, then it's also simple. Which I think we can both agree, it clearly isn't, for exactly the reasons you put forward in your own post: the contract wasn't with VdG himself but with his company and/or backers.

Further, if we go back on reports; it seems likely that VdG was on a 2014+1 test-driver contract, that ment he paid the team for the test-driver role and sponsorship fees. Somewhere within that contract were also clauses, that if activated, would promote him (and give priority) into a 2015 seat. Apparently, one of these clauses was activated in June 2014 when additional payments were made to Sauber. This however wasn't a race-seat contract, it was merely a (complex) contract for a test-driver role with lots of complicated clauses and options for payment.

So in November 2014 when VdG expected to sign the real deal and be named as one of the 2015 drivers and wasn't - he was rightly furious. Agree with this so far? So Sauber at this point maintain they did not have a contract with VdG for an actual race seat. What VdG did have, was some other contract with activation clauses (that were activated) that gave him legal and binding priority to a 2015 seat. Also true. But what kind of clauses do you think was in that contract?


Morally, one would think it's a simple case of "pay back the payment that enabled those promotion clauses in the first place and it shall set you free" ( :wink: ), but 5 months later (June to November 2014), the situation isn't equal anymore, isn't it? At that point VdG didn't have all the same options to persuit different F1 opportunities, so rightly, the matter becomes more complex - does it not? Clearly, then, it's not a clear & cut scenario where you simply pay back what was paid 5 months earlier, because now, VdG, sais he can't back out anymore because he had already committed both financially and psychologically and demands the seat (as was promised), at the risk of going all out in front of court. So again, is this a black & white case that can be paid by 'pre-determined compensation figure N'? At that point, what can Sauber do, if not to argue or wait until VdG goes to court and fight it out there?

turbof1 wrote:Yes it is that simple! Contracts are made for the exact purpose to make things black and white.
Oh, if everything were that simple, we wouldn't need courts. We could do away with them and skip to the executive branch entirely. Breach of contract -> Fine. Fine not paid -> Jail. Unfortunately, there is only so much you can handle in contracts. At the most basic, if part payment is made, it already isn't black & white anymore and becomes a matter of complexity. See above.
Not for nothing, Rosberg's Championship is the only thing that lends credibility to Hamilton's recent success. Otherwise, he'd just be the guy who's had the best car. — bhall II
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Re: Sauber F1 Team 2015

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...however, in vd Garde's case it is more complicated then simply employer-employee contract?

Wait, so... you are in fact agreeing with me? :P Because if it is black & white, then it's also simple. Which I think we can both agree, it clearly isn't, for exactly the reasons you put forward in your own post: the contract wasn't with VdG himself but with his company and/or backers.
No, I'm saying there you have to be careful with seeing this as an employer-employee contract (I did not mention the latter, you did right?). It is not an employer-employee contract, but a business contract. A simplified example to really make a comparison is a company having a contract with an energy supplier. Energy supplier shuts down the supply, the other company can't produce anymore, while it has paid its bills. There are 2 options:
-Either the supply restarts and losses the company made during non-production are compensated.
-Or the supplier ends the deal and pays off the contract plus losses.

Complicated does not mean "not black and white". It means the matter is more complex, but certainly not ambiguous. The accuser still is vd Garde NV, with the representative of the NV being Giedo vd Garde, and the defender is still Sauber. For the rest you have different rules in the amount of compensation and proof compared to an employer-employee contract or consumer-producer contract, but it does not change in the least the right on compensation, nor the right to pay off the contract.
Further, if we go back on reports; it seems likely that VdG was on a 2014+1 test-driver contract, that ment he paid the team for the test-driver role and sponsorship fees. Somewhere within that contract were also clauses, that if activated, would promote him (and give priority) into a 2015 seat. Apparently, one of these clauses was activated in June 2014 when additional payments were made to Sauber. This however wasn't a race-seat contract, it was merely a (complex) contract for a test-driver role with lots of complicated clauses and options for payment.
There are always if's and but's in a contract. It's simply to cover a whole range of situations. Doesn't matter either; the only thing that matters is the fact vd Garde NV (not Giedo vd Garde) hired the racing seat for 2015 the moment Sauber used the option stipulated in the contract. At that moment the contract stated that vd Garde NV hired the racing for 2015.
So in November 2014 when VdG expected to sign the real deal and be named as one of the 2015 drivers and wasn't - he was rightly furious. Agree with this so far? So Sauber at this point maintain they did not have a contract with VdG for an actual race seat. What VdG did have, was some other contract with activation clauses (that were activated) that gave him legal and binding priority to a 2015 seat. Also true. But what kind of clauses do you think was in that contract?
You got your facts a bit wrong there. Sauber did not claim at that point that there was no valid racing contract. They did so AFTER Giedo went to the Swiss Court, The contract effectively got terminated in February, long after Giedo went to court.
Timeline is here: http://www.f1technical.net/news/19961
Also, as we now know is that the contract got terminated on faulty grounds. Allegedly Giedo released details of the contract in public, but those released details where actually a consequence of the court putting those details in public records.
There were no other legal clauses in the contract to terminate the contract (without paying off the contract). Else Sauber would definitely have used them. The court took its time to go through the contract and determined there was no reason for Sauber not to honor the contract (again, without paying off the contract).
(Sauber also waited AFTER the ruling of the court to inform the official FIA organ for driver contracts: the CRB.)
Morally, one would think it's a simple case of "pay back the payment that enabled those promotion clauses in the first place and it shall set you free" ( :wink: ), but 5 months later (June to November 2014), the situation isn't equal anymore, isn't it? At that point VdG didn't have all the same options to persuit different F1 opportunities, so rightly, the matter becomes more complex - does it not? Clearly, then, it's not a clear & cut scenario where you simply pay back what was paid 5 months earlier, because now, VdG, sais he can't back out anymore because he had already committed both financially and psychologically and demands the seat (as was promised), at the risk of going all out in front of court. So again, is this a black & white case? At that point, what can Sauber do, if not to argue or wait until VdG goes to court and fight it out there?
The question what kind of compensation vd Garde should get, got more complex (and costly for Sauber). The situation itself was not changed in the least:
-vd Garde had a legal and none-terminated contract. Sauber tried to terminate it on basis of so-called leaked details, which failed since the Swiss court still ruled that the contract has to be honoured.
-Sauber could have paid off the contract and be done with it. The fact that the Swiss court ruled that the contract should be respected, means Sauber did not paid off the contract and neither could use any other clausule in the contract to terminate it.

I'll repeat again: nobody, employer, consumer or producer, is infinitely bound to a contract they don't like. You can pay off the contract at any point and from there terminate it. There's no jury anywhere that will force you to hold on to a contract you have (or try to) paid off. The reason why vd Garde got that ruling in the Swiss court is because Sauber did not paid off the contract. That's the only explanation possible.

Also, don't confuse my insistance on vd Garde being completely in the right for not having sympathy for Sauber's financial situation. You really have to be that desperate to sign 4 drivers for 2 seats.
Oh, if everything were that simple, we wouldn't need courts. We could do away with them and skip to the executive branch entirely. Breach of contract -> Fine. Fine not paid -> Jail. Unfortunately, there is only so much you can handle in contracts. At the most basic, if part payment is made, it already isn't black & white anymore and becomes a matter of complexity. See above.
Courts are exactly need for cases like vd Garde's one: people or companies not honoring their contracts and forcing them to do so. Only courts can effectively force non-willing parties to do what they should legally do. Are you allowed to put someone in jail because he does not honor his written word? No. Is a police officer to do that without a court order? No he is not. A court is there to check the facts and judge what is the truth, to give a fair trial. Else we'd have a lot of innocent people behind bars.
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Phil
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Re: Sauber F1 Team 2015

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Turbo,

We're going in circles here. Lets focus on the important stuff and not get stuck in semantics. Essentially, the only thing I am NOT agreeing with, is your quote ("And that's where the issue is: Sauber did not compensate vd Garde in 2014. Not compensating him meant that vd Garde still had a valid contract."). In there, you are making it out to be a simple black & white case, in which VdG had a contract for a race-seat and that Sauber did not [want to or could] compensate him (alluding that there were still applicable clauses within that contract), which ultimately led to the court-case in Switzerland and Australia.

I'm saying: We don't know the details of those contracts and what ultimately led to the dispute having to be settled through court.

Even in your written timeline excerp it sais that the basis of the entire contractual relationship betwen VdG and Sauber is a 2014 test-driver contract - one with many clauses, one of which was activated on June 28th 2014, that gave him priority on a race seat 2015. Is this the actual race-contract in your view? Mine? No it isn't. It's a promise, a letter of acceptance, to one of the race-seats. One that would lead to the real contract ASAP. At the latest, sometime in November 2014, when the drivers and seats are revealed.

Up until November 2014, there was ZERO dispute between VdG and Sauber. Not even with Sutil. Because at that point, they didn't know what was happening. VdG rightly assumed he'd be one of the nominated drivers, as the activated clause gave him that legal right.

Fact 1: June 28th, payment(s) were made in VdG's name by whoever [himself or his backers] that activated clauses within the existing contract that gave him priority and a legal claim to one of the 2015 seats
Fact 2: November 2014; Sauber inform VdG that they have decided to go with two other drivers
Fact 3: Between June 28th and November are ~4 months.

I suspect it wasn't as simple as paying out compensation in form of a predetermined figure anymore at that point [that being November 2014 when the dispute started]. ~4 months after the clauses became active, you can't simply pay back and assume everything goes away. At that point, VdG already committed himself to the Sauber drive and his chances of securing any other venues is smaller. Any court in this instance would agree that the dynamics have changed. At that point, it's in VdGs right to argue that he wants the seat (because he doesn't have any other possibilities to persuit his career) and is also within the right to turn down any compensation figures that go beyond what may have been originally offered - making it practically impossible for Sauber to get out realistically if not in front of court.
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Re: Sauber F1 Team 2015

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In there, you are making it out to be a simple black & white case, in which VdG had a contract for a race-seat and that Sauber did not [want to or could] compensate him (alluding that there were still applicable clauses within that contract), which ultimately led to the court-case in Switzerland and Australia.
Yes I am, because if Sauber tried to pay off vd Garde, the court in Switzerland never could have ruled that Sauber had to honor the contract. It's really that simple! I'm not going to drag Australia into this; the Victorian Court only had to rule of the Swiss court ruling was applicable. It's the first ruling that really counts, not the one(s) in Australia.

Thats no judgement on why Sauber did not offered compensation (though I personally believe, emphasis on believe, that they simply did not have the means to). They could just as well have felt some other clauses in the contract were applicable to terminate the contract. The court however decided however that the contract had to be honored, hence other clauses were not applicable.
Even in your written timeline excerp it sais that the basis of the entire contractual relationship betwen VdG and Sauber is a 2014 test-driver contract - one with many clauses, one of which was activated on June 28th 2014, that gave him priority on a race seat 2015. Is this the actual race-contract in your view? Mine? No it isn't. It's a promise, a letter of acceptance, to one of the race-seats. One that would lead to the real contract ASAP. At the latest, sometime in November 2014, when the drivers and seats are revealed.
Phil, the contract with said option has been written and signed. That effectively makes the option too a binding contract. Even if other details still had to be arranged like what vd Garde had to pay, or utilities or whatever, it is still binding.

Btw, by law a promise too can be seen as a contract. In practice however a spoken promise is neigh-impossible to prove. Much easier however when the option is written down. A single line as "...with option to a 2015 race seat if both parties agree" is enough to legally bind both parties when the option is used. The option was used, both parties had to sign this, so it's a contract.
I suspect it wasn't as simple as paying out compensation in form of a predetermined figure anymore at that point [that being November 2014 when the dispute started]. ~4 months after the clauses became active, you can't simply pay back and assume everything goes away. At that point, VdG already committed himself to the Sauber drive and his chances of securing any other venues is smaller. Any court in this instance would agree that the dynamics have changed. At that point, it's in VdGs right to argue that he wants the seat (because he doesn't have any other possibilities to persuit his career) and is also within the right to turn down any compensation figures that go beyond what may have been originally offered - making it practically impossible for Sauber to get out realistically if not in front of court.
It's maybe not simple to determine the amount of compensation. It's however that simple to invoke to terminate the contract if paying off by compensation. The only thing that then follows is determining the compensation. Nowhere near did we see the slightest hint of that until right after the Australian Grand Prix, when a settlement was reached within a couple of days.
A court does not care about dynamics being changed or whatever. A court is by its function pragmatic and only cares if the contract is legal, and if so which party is in the right. A court cannot go against the right of paying off the contract. Again that right was not used by Sauber, no matter how complex it would be to determine the amount of compensation. Which I btw don't feel was that complex since again it got settled within days. From the point that vd Garde was offered compensation, there was no legal ground anymore to go to court.

Did vd Garde take advantage of the fact Sauber did not offer compensation before? Yes he did. He could himself have asked for compensation, and then we would have yet another story. However he did not; he simply used the lack of compensation to enforce the contract so he might squeeze out the seat after all.
Up until November 2014, there was ZERO dispute between VdG and Sauber. Not even with Sutil. Because at that point, they didn't know what was happening. VdG rightly assumed he'd be one of the nominated drivers, as the activated clause gave him that legal right.
Because up until November the 1st, there was still one seat left. Up until that point both Sutil and vd Garde knew that one of them would not get that seat, but neither knew who. On November the 5th, Giedo effectively could tell he would not get the race seat. barely 19 days later the case started. You can bet on it that all of those 19 days were used to prepare the case.

But the verdict came months later, in february. During all that time Sauber had the chance to compensate vd Garde and effectively making the case a useless excercise. Again, since there was a court ruling, compensation was not there during that period.

I'm a hard nut to crack on this I know :P. But I know this from my own experience. i'm not a lawyer, but I have a good grasp how contracts come and go between companies. For instance a company in relative close proximity wanted to expand it's industrial activities by having more machinery in place. They had a contract with the energy supplier in place, with a clausule that allows them to automatically expand on that. However, the energy supplier found out the energy supply could not be maintained all the time due a water channel on the way required works that would take months. They tried to terminate the contract based on force majeure, but even during the running case it was apparent they'd loose it. The folded and said to compensate the contract instead. There were some more cases after that on the amount of compensation due the company had to wait so long they called off the expansion, but basically the first case got dropped right when compensation for contract termination was offered.

I could reurgate more of those shining examples, but you get the drill.
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Re: Sauber F1 Team 2015

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Phil wrote:
Cold Fussion wrote:It still boggles my mind that some people here think it's ok to be fraudulent in order to keep the team alive.
It also boggles the mind how quick people are to jump to conclusions to which we have no way of knowing how complex the matter is and after all these countless of pages, still only heard one view-point.
The courts have ruled that at least three drivers had a contract for a 2015 race seat, what would you call that?

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Re: Sauber F1 Team 2015

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Cold Fussion wrote:
Phil wrote:
Cold Fussion wrote:It still boggles my mind that some people here think it's ok to be fraudulent in order to keep the team alive.
It also boggles the mind how quick people are to jump to conclusions to which we have no way of knowing how complex the matter is and after all these countless of pages, still only heard one view-point.
The courts have ruled that at least three drivers had a contract for a 2015 race seat, what would you call that?
i'll throw a bone into this pack......did all contracts demand they raced all the races throughout the season?
F.E.

car 1: 10 races driver 1, 10 races driver 2.
car 2: 16 races driver 3, 4 races driver 4.

has this been contractually clarified? who knows? well, theres the answer, nobody except Sauber and the contracted personnel knows. the rest is pure 'speculation'.
Dumpster sounds so much more classy. It's the diamond of the cesspools.

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Re: Sauber F1 Team 2015

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Phil wrote:
Cold Fussion wrote:It still boggles my mind that some people here think it's ok to be fraudulent in order to keep the team alive.
It also boggles the mind how quick people are to jump to conclusions to which we have no way of knowing how complex the matter is and after all these countless of pages, still only heard one view-point.
We have heard both viewpoints. We know that VD Garde, Sutil, Nasr, Ericsson and Bianchi had valid contracts for 2015. It is also rumoured that Gutierrez had a valid contract too.

Kaltenboorn has said she did what she had to do to keep the team afloat.

Where you find yourself lying on the issue is very much a personal choice.

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Re: Sauber F1 Team 2015

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Jonnycraig wrote:
Phil wrote:
Cold Fussion wrote:It still boggles my mind that some people here think it's ok to be fraudulent in order to keep the team alive.
It also boggles the mind how quick people are to jump to conclusions to which we have no way of knowing how complex the matter is and after all these countless of pages, still only heard one view-point.
We have heard both viewpoints. We know that VD Garde, Sutil, Nasr, Ericsson and Bianchi had valid contracts for 2015. It is also rumoured that Gutierrez had a valid contract too.

Kaltenboorn has said she did what she had to do to keep the team afloat.

Where you find yourself lying on the issue is very much a personal choice.
In the defence of Sauber: we know Bianchi's contract could not be forfilled anymore for obvious reasons after his horrible crash. It's probably just to leave Bianchi out of the story.

(Although alteast one driver with a 2015 contract would still have been left out if Bianchi did not have that crash and went on to Sauber, which would not have assumingly necesssitated signing of either Nasr or Ericsonn: vd Garde, or Sutil.)
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Re: Sauber F1 Team 2015

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turbo wrote:t's maybe not simple to determine the amount of compensation. It's however that simple to invoke to terminate the contract if paying off by compensation. The only thing that then follows is determining the compensation. Nowhere near did we see the slightest hint of that until right after the Australian Grand Prix, when a settlement was reached within a couple of days.
You are talking about 'contract' - which contract? We know there was a contract for a test-driver role for 2014, possibly 2015, with clauses that could be activated by financial payment, which as we also know, one of which was activated on June 28th. But that is still not a drivers-contract - it was merely an activated clause on a contract signed sometime early 2014. So again, what contract are you talking about?

Because from what followed, I don't actually believe that Sauber actually drew up a formal 'race-seat-contract' after June 28th, or they probably would have confirmed him as a driver right immediately with it.

The court ruling in Switzerland that was started sometime mid to end November 2014 and took until February IMO was nothing but a ruling on the basis that VdG had a legitimate claim to one of the two seats because...

1.) the clause that was activated on June 28th was legal and binding
2.) preceeded both driver-seat-contracts by Nasr and Ericsson in November 2014

Naturally, the court then ruled in VdG's favour with the clear message to Sauber that VdG did in fact have a legal and binding right to one of the 2015 seats.


PS: I appreciate your knowlege in contracts. I really do. Don't assume though that I don't have my own share of experiences with contracts myself, which is why I am explicitly arguing about minor but importantly crucial points (which IMO you haven't really clarified).
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Re: Sauber F1 Team 2015

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turbof1 wrote:up until November the 1st, there was still one seat left. Up until that point both Sutil and vd Garde knew that one of them would not get that seat, but neither knew who. On November the 5th, Giedo effectively could tell he would not get the race seat. barely 19 days later the case started. You can bet on it that all of those 19 days were used to prepare the case.

But the verdict came months later, in february. During all that time Sauber had the chance to compensate vd Garde and effectively making the case a useless excercise. Again, since there was a court ruling, compensation was not there during that period.
I don't really agree with you here because people seem to still miss an important point;

VdG constantly stated in every press release he was not interested in financial compensation but he demanded and wanted the drive. I am absolutely sure Sauber offered him compensation and probably stated that was a 'correct' way for them to get out of the deal they made with him [ even if it was unfair from Saubers side ].

Giedo did not accept this. Essentially, with that, Sauber's hands were tied [ yes, they probably never saw that coming ].

I thus believe compensation WAS there during that period / or was inked out to be given during the duration of this season, yet, it simply was not accepted by the VdG camp and the VdG camp 'simply' took legal matters in own hand through court rulings to 'get what he wanted' > the race seat.
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turbof1
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Re: Sauber F1 Team 2015

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VdG constantly stated in every press release he was not interested in financial compensation but he demanded and wanted the drive. I am absolutely sure Sauber offered him compensation and probably stated that was a 'correct' way for them to get out of the deal they made with him [ even if it was unfair from Saubers side ].
The other party does not have to agree with the termination of the contract if given compensation. It can be done 100% one-sided. The only thing then left to make a case about is the amount of compensation. This is what for instance a firm restructuring is about: booting a large chunk of the workforce while they all still have valid contracts. This is also what happened at for instance Ford Genk: 2 years ago it was announced the plant was going to be shut down and all the people would be simply fired, including the ones who had contracts of infinite duration. In order to do so legally though, compensations had to be given. It took almost all of the 2 years to negotiate the compensation, with all sorts of court cases follow ups, but not one was about forcing the right to keep working.

Same with Ford Genk's nearby suppliers, who only had the plant as their sole customer. Compensation had to be given to cover costs of converting to a different market, in order to terminate the running contracts.

The silver lining here is that both the employers and suppliers never agreed with the shutdown of the plant, yet nothing was there to stop Ford from doing so, because Ford simply bought out of all the contracts.

I'm very sure Sauber did not do that; again if that was done, then there was no court ruling that forced Sauber to honor the contract. The contract was not "bought out".

What would be the chances anyway of a team able to pay off a dozen+ million pound contract, when it needed to hire 4 drivers for 2 seats? The money Ericsonn and Nasr brought in went straight to either the debt owed to the suppliers, or to the 2015 car. We all know how it onfolded: Sauber had to get an advance on the price money in order to be able to pay off vd Garde. Once that money become available, the court cases inmediately stopped and a settlement was reached within 2-3 days.

Did vd Garde used the situation? Of course he did; he knew exactly that Sauber was not in the position to compensate him, and as long that does not happen, the contract simply remained valid. vd Garde basically had nothing to loose anymore once he got thrown out by the team. Either he'd get a seat, or he'd get compensated, or the team failed. Obviously he preferred option 1, but he got option 2.

Mind that if vd Garde claimed compensation, he could have kept Sauber from departing to Australia in the first place.
You are talking about 'contract' - which contract? We know there was a contract for a test-driver role for 2014, possibly 2015, with clauses that could be activated by financial payment, which as we also know, one of which was activated on June 28th. But that is still not a drivers-contract - it was merely an activated clause on a contract signed sometime early 2014. So again, what contract are you talking about?
Basically everything written and signed is a contract. This is honestly a bit of a tangen. If it eases your mind, let's call it a "written agreement" :P. Makes no difference in legality and juristical value. I also kind of dislike the notion "driver-contract". It implies a "employer-employee" agreement, but this is purely a firm-to-firm agreement. It does not really change anything to an outcome, as again just like an employer can fire his employee at any time without needing to give any reason as long as he gives a big compensation along, a firm can cancel it's contract for the very same reasons. Differences are mostly what kind of legal protection the respective parties enjoy, and what kind of proof is allowed in court.

The only thing I did not mention that is somewhat a hindrance for termination by buyout, is that it needs to be done on reasonable notice. Reasonable notice is kind of a strange jurdicial principle, which varies very hugely even within the same cases. I don't think it's applicable here though.
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Phil
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Re: Sauber F1 Team 2015

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Turbo... you are really dodging the question here. :P I know what a contract is. But you have not clarified what 'written agreement' you are talking about. Let me remind you what we are talking about here: Essentially, the point of this talk is to establish if 'Sauber could have made it all go away by simply paying out whatever was established as a compensation clause'. You seem to think they could have, but probably didn't have the means to (due to their financial struggles), so ended up in court and with a verdict against them.

My point is, that the only written-agreement/contract there was between Sauber and VdG was likely that test-drivers role signed in early 2014. In there, they would have clarified a lot of financial matters, sponsorship and his role as a test-driver. There would have also been clauses in case further financial commitment is needed/wanted that would act as a means to promote VdG from being a test-driver-only to one of their official drivers in 2015. That is essentially what was in that contract.

June 28th comes, Sauber finds itself in deep financial troubles and they need more cash. They activate (and receive payment that keeps them alive) one of the clauses that then promote VdG to having priority to one of the seats. We can only speculate over the exact wording within that contract, but essentially, that clause is something like a legally binding (written) promise to one of the race seats in 2015.

For some reason however, Sauber at that point, didn't announce VdG as one of their official drivers yet. Why not? Technically they should have, because that clause was legally binding. They should have went straight into negotiation talks, perhaps drawing up another legal document highlighting what exactly is expected as one of their official drivers, the salary (if any), perhaps further financial payments, driver duties etc. In that contract, I'm sure there would have been further "compensation clauses" if one of the parties decided to end the agreement or couldn't fullfill them. Did such a agreement exist? I'm willing to bet it didn't, otherwise Sauber would have had no reason to not announce him at that point as a official driver for 2015.

Now, if in July, suddenly Sauber got to a lot of cash, they could have reverted the 'clause' that promoted VdG. As you rightly put it, some form of compensation or "termination clause" was likely handled within that agreement (still, the test-driver + options agreement). Because at that point, the 'damage' to either Sauber or VdG would have been minimal. They didn't do this.

4 months later, November 4th, Sauber reveal both Ericsson and Nasr. 4 months later, the situation changed. This is the key point. 4 months later, VdG had already committed to being a Sauber driver. He didn't persuit other opportunities, but committed himself to the Sauber drive. 4 months later, Sauber can't realistically come (even with cash) and say "hey Guido, sorry, we signed two other drivers, here's some form of compensation (or what was originally agreed 4-10 months earlier), please go away".

Of course, that would work if Guido agrees to it like a good boy and walks away. He didn't. He went to court, and claimed that he was promised a seat due to the activation of clauses in that 'test-drivers-plus-options-agreement" on June 28th, committed himself to the drive, paid all that was asked and demands that promise to be honoured. Crucially, that "promise" preceeds all other contracts by the date. The judge (Arbitration court in Switzerland) eventually looks at the case and sais "okay, the promise was made and is legit and VdG was under the impression for 4 months (Jun-Nov) that he was going to be the driver. No compensation was paid by Sauber and now, another 4-7 months later (Nov '14-Feb '15), there is a real damage to VdG because he couldn't persuit other opportunities due to his committment to the drive. On the basis that the promise activated on June 28th is legit, we order Sauber to honour that promise and give VdG that seat".

So again, at which point could Sauber single-handedly paid what ever sum and made it all go away?

They could have done this in June. I agree.
They could have done this, perhaps in July. I agree.
They maybe could have done this, perhaps in August. I agree.

With every passing month, the damage to VdG increases as he is losing more time in pursuing alternative, thus, any formerly agreed sum of compensation doesn't really apply anymore. In November, it was already too late, and VdG well within his right to decline any form of compensation irregardless how much he was offered and to take the matter to court. Even worse, the court verdict only came out in February at which point, his chance was already gone to drive for another team. So any compensation figure discussed or agreed sometime in early 2014 or June 2014 is utterly irrelevant at that point and becomes a matter of court.

The only reason why they settled within days or hours in March 2015 on the weekend of the GP in Australia is because at that point, VdG had Sauber by the balls, it was clear he wasn't going to be driving, he had played all his cards and probably got a very very nice pay out (more than he would have in June 2014, more than he would have in November 2014, more than he would have in February 2015). There was no reason to take this beyond it already had because he was already at that point where he was getting the most out of what was to be gained.
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