Sauber ‘surprised’ by van der Garde statement

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Sauber F1 Team has also taken to its Facebook page in order to reply to Giedo van der Garde’s statement, saying they were ‘surprised’ about his public comments.

The 29-year-old Dutchman announced on Wednesday that he had reached a settlement with the Hinwill-based outfit following the termination of his driver contract.

But van der Garde also seized the opportunity to criticise the way he was treated by Sauber throughout the legal dispute, calling the whole situation “bizarre” and laying blame at the door of team principal Monisha Kaltenborn.

The 2008 Formula Renault 3.5 champion also admitted his Formula One career was probably over, with WEC and DTM now his top priorities.

Although van der Garde’s words were not well received at Sauber, the Swiss squad now wants to move on and focus on the racing, especially after ending their points drought in Australia last weekend.

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

“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."

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