Giedo van der Garde is legally entitled to take up a seat in the Sauber F1 team this season, after the Swiss team's appeal against that claim was thrown out by the courts.

The court in Melbourne had already ruled in van der Garde's favour, saying that the team had backed out of a deal to run its 2014 test and reserve driver this season, and took little time to reject Sauber's appeal, despite the fact that doing so could place the team in financial jeopardy.

Having decided to press ahead without regard to van der Garde's claim on one of its two seats, Sauber hired the pairing of Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr, both of whom bring a fair amount of sponsorship to the cash-strapped Sauber organisation. Now, in order to obey the court ruling, the team has to make room for van der Garde, at the risk of breaking another contract and, in all likelihood, costing itself more than just sponsorship dollars as the risk of further legal action piles up on the costs already incurred in attempting to preserve its favoured line-up.

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Sauber has already accepted a $10m advance payment from FOM in order to ensure its presence in Australia for this weekend's opening round, but paddock rumours suggest that it may consider sitting out the Melbourne race claiming, amongst other things, that the C34 has not been designed or fitted to accommodate van der Garde.