F1 Team Sauber boss Kaltenborn sacked

Whilst the F1 paddock is busy in Baku, the breaking news today is that Sauber boss, Monisha Kaltenborn has been sacked. The Swiss based racing company investors have decided enough is enough and F1’s first female team principal is no more.

Following years of financial difficulties and annual rumours of creditors imminent winding up petitions, Peter Sauber and Kaltenborn secured the long term future of Sauber F1 when they sold their shares last summer to Swiss company Longbow – who are closely connected with Marcus Ericsson’s financiers Tetra-Pak.

Recent whispers in the paddock have suggested a growing difference of opinion between the Sauber team owners and Kaltenborn over ‘preferential’ treatment being offered to driver Marcus Ericsson.

Indian born Kaltenborn was educated in law at the University of Vienna following her parents emigration to Austria. She studied her Masters degree at the prestigious London School of Economics whilst working for the United Nations Industrial development Organisation and the Un Commission for International Trade Law.

All the more surprising then that Sauber became engulfed in an international legal dispute over contracts with its drivers. This followed Kaltenborn’s decision to sign Marcus Ericsson andFelipe Nasr  whilst the team’s incumbent drivers Giedo van der Garde and Adrian Sutil had at least a year further to run.

The Australian Supreme Court repeatedly issued rulings during the week’s run up to the 2015 season’s opener in Melbourne resulting in Bailiff’s attending the Sauber garages at the circuit and Kaltenborn herself under imminent threat of arrest.

The matter was resolved later that year, with the team believed to have paid off both original drivers substantial multi million pound settlements which again plunged Sauber into financial chaos.

The Sauber motorhome in Baku is remarkably quiet for now, as official news has not been forthcoming.

This has not prevented speculation beginning about who will take over from Kaltenborn – and to what maybe the horror of Caterham F1 employees and fans – Colin Kolles is believed to be in the frame. That said, the team’s best paid former driver tweeted this ironic suggestion a few minutes ago.

The Sauber F1 team’s results have been poor this season, scoring just 4 points and they are ahead only of the hapless McLaren in the constructors championship.

There have been failures in Sauber’s technical department with long awaited updates in Monaco failing to impress. Kaltenborn has been trying to recruit in recent times, but the team owners appear to be more inclined to stick with the technical skills present.


10 responses to “F1 Team Sauber boss Kaltenborn sacked

  1. Not that I against sacking Kaltenborn: for me she was the evil mastermind behind the Giedo van der Garde debacle, which blocks me from being a Sauber fan (let’s see whether the sacking of Kaltenborn removes my block ;-)) , but realistically: what could she have done better? No money in -> no performance out.

    That Sauber hasn’t churned out new driver talents is due to budget constraints. That they are using 2016 Ferrari engines: ditto. That they signed Honda:well.. back of the field is back of the field, and f Honda gets it right, then it will be middle of the field. So the only way is up.

    If there is more too it: I would like to read the story!

  2. Sauber’s plight is symptomatic of the p!ss poor way that the Toad ran the sport.

    Sauber have done themselves no favours recently but I think their desperation to survive was the main driver of the spectacular cluster of losing moves over the last few years.

    No one in any senior position in an F1 team is a fool. When you get forced into a corner you have to do something. Few such highly competitive individuals would EVER tap out, so it becomes a series of “it just might work” manoeuvres.

    Sauber were bent over by the system.

    Bernie’s version of trickle-down economics kinda worked in the 70’s and 80’s when smaller teams could maybe jag a stellar unknown talent to drive an OK car with a DFV down back and snatch points or a podium when the big boys had an off day – all for a reasonable outlay. Times have changed – the big teams have so much money and reputation tied up in the sport they there’s no spillage or trickle down anymore.

    The fundamental operational structure of F1 is broken. Nothing I’ve seen from Liberty tells me they have a plan that will work. Turning it into NASCAR will have drivers / teams / fans leaving in droves.

    Hopefully THIS roll of the dice does it for Sauber. How it all ends up is probably directly correlated to the performance of Honda and their flaky donk.

    • I disagree. The biggest problem for the small teams has been the introduction of the hybrid engines and BE fought against them.

  3. Kaltenborn was clearly out of her league as a team principal. She might have been a good lawyer but she had no clue how to run an F1 team. Just last week she stated that the technology in F1 was too hard to understand. Statements like that don’t instil confidence. She inherited a team that was 6th in the constructors WC and is now (the McLaren debacle aside) the worst team in F1. I’m not surprised it didn’t happen earlier.

  4. Sauber suck hard at the moment. Sure they have no money, but that’s ‘coz they suck. Welcome to the jungle.

    From the outside it seems they have taken the low road and only signed drivers (lots of them!) with the biggest personal sponsors they could get. But then they have failed to build a decent car with the coin on offer. Poor management. Sack the boss. 🙂

    Maybe they have slipped past some unmarked event horizon and their eventual dismal fate is now sealed despite whatever heat and light the can conjure up over the last few years of their existence.

    The birth and subsequent death of F1 teams is nothing new. Why do we expect them all to last forever?

    Sauber have sucked for quite some time now – so let them die.

  5. while I can’t say I’m overly saddened to see Kaltenborn removed (her handling of the van der Garde and Sutil contracts still strike a nerve…although I’ll admit had she replaced them with a super emerging talent like Max for example it might have been forgiven), I don’t see how the suggested hiring of Kolles to replace her will improve the direction of the team?
    At least when McLaren got rid of Ron Dennis they replaced him with someone with a specific skill set in mind..bringing in money…not that that’s working out great so far, but these things take time! Not sure what exactly Kolles will bring to Sauber that Kaltenborn couldn’t?

    The thing that I wonder about most in this is the position of Wehrlein – is he now F1s only official number 2? To Marcus Ericcson? Really? And who will volunteer for that role in the future?

  6. Colin Kolles replacing Kaltenborn = 2 wrongs don’t make a right……
    Le Mans team was an absolute joke this year.
    Man has no place in F1 paddock and this is a big step backwards for Sauber if they go this route.

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