Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn hasn’t spoken at length about the recent legal case involving Giedo van der Garde, but recently admitted she feared she would end up in prison.
The Swiss team took a hit at the opening race in Australia when Van der Garde’s lawyers demanded he be given a race seat as per his contract with the team.
The court sided with the Dutch driver and when it became clear that Sauber’s Kaltenborn wouldn’t back down, his lawyers demanded she be imprisoned.
“There was a real risk [of it happening],” Kaltenborn told UOL Esporte. “Legally, I have my position and we had a decision contrary to that and made a deal, but the story could have been very different.”
Kaltenborn was lambasted by the media for not speaking out about the matter or explaining her or the team’s position, but she says that was for good reason.
“It was very stressful for me, but it was clear what I had to protect – my team and my drivers,” she added. “I was placed in a situation that was totally misunderstood by the media, but I was not in a position to comment because I had to protect the staff.
“We were in a very difficult situation because we couldn’t say anything, and yet most people who wrote about it had no idea what was going on but still gave their opinion – and very strong opinions.”
She added that Van der Garde would never have raced in Australia no matter the outcome – he and the team eventually reached a financial settlement – because he didn’t have a super licence at the time.