Sauber sever ties with team boss Kaltenborn

LONDON • Swiss-based Sauber have parted company with principal Monisha Kaltenborn, the first woman to run a Formula One outfit, the team's owners said on Wednesday.

"Longbow Finance SA regrets to announce that, by mutual consent and due to diverging views of the future of the company, Monisha Kaltenborn will leave her positions with the Sauber Group effective immediately," they said in a statement.

"Her successor will be announced shortly."

No details were given about the "diverging views" but board chairman Pascal Picci issued a separate statement, angrily rejecting speculation that it concerned the status of the team's drivers and a desire to favour Marcus Ericsson.

"The owners and board of Sauber Motorsport AG take strong exception to speculative and widespread media reports today that our race drivers have not been, and are not being, treated equally," he said.

"This is not only patently untrue, it would be contrary to the team's absolute and long-standing commitment to fair competition.

"These reports, attributed to anonymous 'sources', are highly detrimental to both Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein as well as to the management and all staff of the Sauber F1 Team."

Ericsson has yet to score a point in seven races this season but has important backers while Wehrlein, who has a long-term Mercedes contract, finished eighth in Spain last month to earn four points.

Motorsport.com said the terms of Kaltenborn's departure were still being worked out.

The team struggled to score points last year, but their financial problems eased when Longbow, a Swiss-based investment company, took over in July last year.

Kaltenborn's departure will leave former champions Williams as the only team with a woman in charge. Claire Williams is officially the deputy principal to father and founder Frank but effectively runs the team day-to-day.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2017, with the headline 'Sauber sever ties with team boss Kaltenborn'. Print Edition | Subscribe