As we near the end of 2015, we take a look back at some of the best – and worst – F1 moments making the headlines over the last twelve months…
Three into two doesn't go at Sauber
Riches are not something usually associated with Sauber, but the Swiss F1 midfield outfit appeared spoiled for choice as it turned up for the 2015 season-opening Australian Grand Prix – except it was a choice it no longer wanted to make.
Although Marcus Ericsson and rookie Felipe Nasr appeared set in stone as the team's driver pairing following their end-of-season confirmation in 2014, Giedo van der Garde had other ideas, claiming that he was entitled to drive one of the C34s in Melbourne having been unfairly dismissed by Sauber after acting as reserve the previous season.
With GP2 frontrunner Raffaele Marciello named as the third man at Hinwil for 2015, van der Garde had a number of bodies to climb over to reach his goal, and resorted to legal action, casting an unnecessary cloud over Albert Park just as F1 should have been emerging into the sunshine of a new campaign.
First published: 12th March 2015
van der Garde wins court battle over Sauber drive
Giedo van der Garde has suceeded in his legal challenge against Sauber over its decision not to give him an F1 drive for 2015.
Van der Garde took Sauber to court after claiming it reneged on a deal to promote him from reserve to full-time driver for 2015, with the Swiss team opting for Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson instead.
Now, just two days before the start of the 2015 season, the Supreme Court has ruled in favour of van der Garde, though the full ruling is yet to be released.
The ruling stands to mean that van der Garde is entitled to race at Albert Park this weekend, with the man himself insisting he is prepared to jump in the car at this late stage.
"I'm very fit and very strong," he said outside the court. "I'm looking forward to going back to the team and we'll work hard to do our best for this weekend.
"I still have a very good relation with the team. I'm looking forward to racing this weekend."
Following the ruling, Sauber immediately launched its appeal, with the Court of Appeal convening in the afternoon to hear the case. However, judges opted to delay the conclusion of the hearing until Thursday morning (local), just one day before track action is due to start.
Should van der Garde go on to race, it is unclear which driver he would be replacing. Both Ericsson and Nasr are known to bring significant funding with them and the loss of one could prove hugely damaging for what is one of the lesser-funded teams on the F1 grid.
Furthermore, the ruling means Sauber could subsequently face further action from whichever driver is spurned, while van der Garde, even if he doesn't drive, could be in line for significant damages for breach of contract.
UPDATE: Sauber and van der Garde would eventually reach an agreement that saw the Dutchman give up his claim to a race seat, allowing Ericsson and Nasr to haul the Swiss team out of F1's basement and into a respectable eighth overall
van der Garde reaches agreement, takes parting shot at Sauber
Sauber won't be drawn into 'mud fight' with van der Garde