Van der Garde causes a stir with Spa paddock visit

Aug.23 (GMM) Giedo van der Garde says he is not targeting a return to formula one.

On Saturday, the Dutchman announced on social media that he is visiting the Belgian grand prix — his first paddock appearance since the Melbourne court dramas.

“Don’t panic Sauber,” he wrote on Twitter, “I’ve only got some meetings.”

Actually, van der Garde’s mere entrance to the paddock proved challenging, with De Telegraaf newspaper claiming Bernie Ecclestone had told all of the teams to refuse to give him a pass.

Ultimately, he did get into the paddock.

Rumours surfaced immediately that one of his scheduled meetings was with Manor, who are still looking for a paying driver to replace Roberto Merhi.

But a Manor source insisted: “We have not made any offers to van der Garde.”

Actually, van der Garde’s meeting was with Mercedes, who had managed to get a guest paddock pass to the controversial 30-year-old.

“It was a good conversation,” van der Garde said, “and there are definitely opportunities.”

But “Formula one is a closed book for me. I want to win races and championships, so DTM is my priority,” he said, referring to the premier German touring car series.

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