CHANGE AT THE TOP

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

Farewell, then, Mon­isha Kal­tenborn, a Sauber stal­wart for al­most 20 years, as se­nior house lawyer, CEO and, since 2012, team prin­ci­pal. She made her mark as the sport’s rst fe­male team boss and for that achieve­ment alone de­serves great credit, since the F1 pad­dock re­mains a bear pit fu­elled more by testos­terone than com­mon sense.

She and Sauber parted ways in the week be­fore the Azerbaijan GP, her exit the re­sult of the team’s on­go­ing poor per­for­mance and bit­ter in-ght­ing at Hin­wil HQ. Sauber last looked good in 2012, when Ser­gio Pérez took three podiums and Ka­mui Kobayashi a me­morable home third at Suzuka. Since then there’s been a steady slide down the constructors’ ta­ble, in tan­dem with a strained cashow that nearly sank the team last year.

Mat­ters came to a head, F1 Rac­ing un­der­stands, over an in­ter­nal dis­pute re­lat­ing to al­leged tech­ni­cal favouritism be­ing shown to­wards Mar­cus Eric­s­son. This led to an un­ex­pected 21 June press re­lease from the team, quot­ing chair­man Pas­cal Picci: “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. This is not only patently un­true, it would be con­trary to the team’s ab­so­lute and long­stand­ing com­mit­ment to fair com­pe­ti­tion.”

No men­tion was made of Kal­tenborn un­til, a day later, news of her de­par­ture “by mu­tual con­sent” was an­nounced, cit­ing “di­verg­ing views of the fu­ture of the com­pany.”

Kal­tenborn has en­dured two tough years since Sauber lost a con­trac­tual dis­pute with Giedo van der Garde over his promised 2015 race drive. How ironic that she won’t be part of the team’s fu­ture, hav­ing just se­cured it by sign­ing a multi-year engine deal with Honda.

SAUBER LAST LOOKED GOOD IN 2012, WHEN SER­GIO PÉREZ TOOK THREE PODIUMS AND KA­MUI KOBAYASHI A ME­MORABLE HOME THIRD AT SUZUKA. SINCE THEN THERE’S BEEN A STEADY SLIDE DOWN THE CONSTRUCTORS’ TA­BLE, IN TAN­DEM WITH STRAINED CASH­FLOW

For­mer team lawyer and CEO Mon­isha Kal­tenborn suc­ceeded Peter Sauber as team prin­ci­pal in 2012

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