Sauber denies favouritism claims amid Kaltenborn split

Sauber has hit back at suggestions of favouritism following reports that its split with Monisha Kaltenborn was related to a dispute over driver treatment.

Sauber denies favouritism claims amid Kaltenborn split
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal and CEO, Sauber
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C36
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C36
Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber, in the drivers parade
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C36
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C36
Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber C36
Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber C36
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, Julien Simon-Chautemps
Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber Team Prinicpal
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While sources have suggested that a key issue in the demise of the relationship between team principal Kaltenborn and Sauber was the treatment of Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein, the team has moved to distance itself from the speculation with an official statement that claims to take ‘strong exception’ to the notion its drivers are not seen as equal within the outfit.

The statement was released before Kaltenborn’s departure from the team was officially confirmed.

“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,” it read.

“This is not only patently untrue, it would be contrary to the team’s absolute and longstanding 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.”

“Diverging views” led to split

Sauber has since formally confirmed that Kaltenborn has left her post with immediate effect, claiming that “diverging views” regarding the future of the Swiss outfit caused the spit.

The team says she has left immediately and by mutual consent, and that her successor will be announced shortly.

The statement, issued in the name of chairman Pascal Picci, emerged over 12 hours after Kaltenborn’s departure went public.

“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,” read the statement.

“We thank her for many years of strong leadership, great passion for the Sauber F1 Team and wish her the very best for the future.

“Her successor will be announced shortly; in the meantime we wish the team the best of luck in Azerbaijan.”

With Kaltenborn absent the team’s operations in Baku are being overseen by team manager Beat Zehnder and technical director Jorg Zander.

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