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Monisha Kaltenborn leaves Sauber – who is in line to lead the Swiss F1 team?
Posted By: Editor   |  21 Jun 2017   |  12:39 pm GMT  |  107 comments

Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn has left the Formula 1 team with immediate effect after five years in the job before the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Kaltenborn was head of Sauber’s legal department from 2000 and became the Swiss outfit’s CEO in 2010 as former chief Peter Sauber stepped back; the first female boss in F1 also owned a third of Sauber until 2016.

Swiss financier Longbow Finance acquired Sauber last year as the team faced financial difficulty, and Kaltenborn gave up her shares. It is believed that the private investor was a catalyst for Kaltenborn’s departure yesterday.

The constructor is rumoured to have lined-up former HRT and Force India boss Colin Kolles to fill the vacant role. The Romanian dentist turned adviser worked with Caterham’s F1 owners in 2014, before it went into administration.

At the time, F1 Management chief Bernie Ecclestone referred to Kolles as a “competent guy”, praising his ability to “get in there and clean things up a lot, stop [Caterham] wasting money and…get it on track.”

In 2013, Kolles was revealed to have recorded a Toto Wolff conversation about Mercedes’ management having also attempted to blackmail the leading F1 outfit’s Executive Director.

Ecclestone stepped in to settle the dispute between the two while Mercedes obtained a court order to stop the release of the conversation.

Sauber recently made a deal with Honda to use its engines from 2018 – it currently uses Ferrari’s 2016-spec units.

The team sits ninth in the constructors’ championship through Pascal Wehrlein’s four points, which he earned in Spain before the race at Baku.


Sauber F1 has released a statement addressing Kaltenborn’s departure:

“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. 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.”

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Rumours flying that her position became untenable because Longbow wanted to make Marcus Ericsson the number one driver and Kaltenborn disagreed. That would be dumbfounding, if true. I just don’t understand what people see in Ericsson – his record in GP2 was inconsistent at best and he’s been beaten by every teammate he’s had in F1. He probably was stronger than Nasr overall last year, in spite of not scoring any points, but this is Felipe Nasr we’re talking about – the Poundshop Felipe Massa. Not bad, but hardly Sterling Moss.

I just can’t understand why you’d sacrifice a team principal who’s steered the team through some very turbulent times for such a mediocre driver.


So they are replacing the lawyer, with a dentist! Between that and having to manage the poorest driver on the grid (and his money), and dropping a Honda donk in the back next year….well i’m not surprised Sauber are where they are….


Not so unusual. Didn’t Caterham put a cleaner in charge?

anthony Jenkins

Donald Trump, once he is impeached? ‘Make Sauber great again!’


sounds and looks more like she had enough of them, not the other way around.


You want to use WHAT engines next year?!!
Gross misconduct, bringing the company in to disrepute, instant dismissal!


I think she did some good or Sauber probably wouldn’t be around. But Kolles does not seem like the answer… he always came off as a shady/swindler/con artist type to me.


who better o take care of f1 than carey?


Is this the beginning of the end for Sauber? Could we see Sauber pulling out before the start of the 2018 season and McLaren using merc engines, leaving Honda without any PUs in the field?

After all Merc engines at McLaren are almost a certain if Wolff can get Alonso in return, send Bottas back to Williams. Giovinizzi to Ferrari to get an Italian back on the prancing horse, sirotkin in for palmer? Bye bye Ericsson and Werhlein?

In think we’re in for a good silly season this year


Sparks would fly if Alonso were heading to Merc !

You are right @Chris_S, this year’s silly season could become even more entertaining than the races themselves! ;o)


Maybe Ron Dennis should be looking at Sauber, he could finish off the job he started with Honda, successfully one would hope

søren christensen

Fully understandable, that Ms Kaltenborn packs up and leaves, when an ignorant chairman, with zero knowledge about F1 starts to interfere in the daily business, and wants to favor a driver (Ericsson).
You can give her a lot of credit, that the team is alive today. Yes, there have been a couple of mistakes. But essentially, she was fighting for the survival of the team, and the employment of the good people at Sauber ever since she took over after Peter Sauber. No mean feat, I would think.
Who would want to replace her?? Well, I am sure a more than average strong and talented character, who can stand up to the investors, is needed. I would go for Fred Vasseur.
Maybe Colin Kolles. I do not see him as a extremely talented in F1 terms, but then he might fit well in with Mr. Picci.
In any case, if Longbow starts seeing their investment going wrong, they can only blame themselves


Fully understandable,

I agree. You’ve got to laugh really – MK had 20+ years experience in the F1 paddock and has steered Sauber through some very choppy waters . The guy at Longbow has attended less than 10 races (according to reports I’ve read) and he reckons he knows best. Well he won’t be the first , or the last, rich man to find out he doesn’t know it all. The other problem is how many key people at Sauber will be loyal to MK and disappear as well? Apparently it’s always been something of a struggle to recruit top engineers who are prepared to up sticks and live in Switzerland . Not good news for Sauber I fear.


@ C63….I feel that you are missing the big picture. When an investment is going nowhere and the future looks grim from a ‘performance’ aspect, questions need to be asked. If those answers are not acceptable then change needs to be implemented, keeping in mind that those who pay the bills are entitled to an opinion and a fair hearing. Sauber were/are going nowhere ATM and if i was a major sponsor/shareholder i would also be shaking the branches. I am equally sure that there is far more to this than we’ll ever know so my take is simply speculation.


I don’t disagree about those paying the bills deserving a voice – clearly they do. However, I’m not sure about the wisdom of letting MK go (assuming they did, maybe she walked and they couldn’t keep her) I read elsewhere she is considered to be pretty smart – I don’t know if that’s true of course and it’s also fair to say the guy heading Longbow can’t exactly be a dim wit. As you say ; chances are there’s more to this than meets the eye . I guess time will tell.


Kolles gets a mention every time a lower placed F1 team needs a boss.He is a bit like the Sam Allerdyce of motorsport.
Considering all the male run teams that have come and gone since Kaltenborn was at Sauber she wasn’t doing bad.
Maybe the new regime are hoping to get brought out by Honda and make themselves a tidy sum and she didn’t want to be involved.


After many races its obvious that Marcus Ericsson only has a F1 race seat due to the money he pays for it. Too bad that Swiss owner Longbow Finance are so money fixated that they dictate driver preferential treatment based on that.


Sorry to elaborate further to my own previous posting, but it appears not many know the true background and reach/connections of the Longbow Finance group and also why I hinted towards the sudden Ericson preference versus Wehrlein, who otherwise has been the Sauber driver getting the work done and collecting the vital points to the team.

So what is the connection:
(if you have access to aka Bloomberg Finance online, you can lookup these records) Longbow is essentially led by Baer, a Swiss who literally socially and professionally are connected to everyone — and every business — worth knowing in Switzerland! He is connected to 14 boards in three different organizations across four different industries. And here across these company filing records it comes across:

Longbow used to be named ‘TetraL Investment Management’. Residing at 70 Avenue du General-Guisan, in Pully, Switzerland, as they still are today. That is also the current contact address for Tetra Laval International SA, the parent company of Tetra Pak and owned by a certain Swede Hans Rausing, the 53rd richest person in the world. A vivid vintage car collector and, yes you guessed it, the personal sponsor of the only Swedish driver on the grid.
How many Strolls do we need? With personal and private x-Ferrari MS engineers and exclusive access to the team’s most advanced simulator and other pranks that only rich kids can buy. Now team principals and what is next they will dictate? Is this good for F1?

Tornillo Amarillo

Werlein’s escaped from Minor debacle and now this meltdown at Sauber, this year was really bad for him, Bottas got the Merc drive and Pascal got injured missing two races. And last year was not better, it is true he scored a point, but the newcomer Ocon just got the promotion to Force India.
After all those problems, at the end of the day to finish P8 in Barcelona sounds pretty good for him and for Sauber…
Opinions Honda “buying” Sauber have a lot of sense, since Williams had to deny a partnership with the Japaneses.


not pleased with this decision at all, but I guess if anyone’s head was going to roll at sauber it could only have been monisha’s, wonder what the real reason for this move is considering the team was so good under her leadership before the change to v6’s (a little faith would be nice I guess, wouldn’t be f1 though)

In other news, what conversation did kolles record? bernie stepping in to keep someone silent, along with a court order, can’t wait for kolles to write a book when he turns grey


Hmmmmm … here’s a suggestion from waaaaay out in Left Field.
After the comments made by Chase Carey about the future, one of which was having a female driver in F1 and attracting more women to the sport, I wonder if this could be a prelude to something extremely unexpected when the new Concorde Agreement comes into effect in 2020 … an all female F1 team to kick off the newest generation of F1.
Monisha could be the one to do it after her years of learning the intricacies of the F1 game.
A project like that would take at least 2 years to put together and it would be the most ground-breaking, massive marketing tool the new F1 owners could possibly conjure.
Who knows, they could do it with Clare Williams’ and Merc’s support, in a similar way to HAAS has with Ferrari.
There are more and more very determined, extremely clever women entering the world of high technology and engineering every day. The only setback would be finding 3 drivers with the skills and dedication to run at such a high level against the best drivers in the world.
I guess such a team couldn’t do any worse than the past 10 back-marker teams that have come into F1, run around at the tail of the field some 7 secs per lap off the pace and left without a whimper when they go broke.
There would be no shortage of companies who would partner a female team and the media circus which follows it closely from it’s inception would be unprecedented.
At least they would have a massive instant following with no real expectations to somehow, someday, miraculously become WCC. Usually what happens when a new team arrives is, too much expectation, not enough success to gain lucrative long-term support from like-minded business partners and inevitably … miserable failure.

At least Monisha has plenty of experience with a back-marker team which has a lack of success so she would have no crazy delusions of instantaneous grandeur.

Come to think of it, Jean Todt has recently commented about the FIA wanting 12 teams / 24 cars on the grid …. interesting times!


When Kolles is involved, it’s always bad news.

Whether by accident or design, he only seems to arrive at teams in serious trouble. He’s basically F1’s grim reaper.

Add into that their money saving by running old engines this year… add into that their strange decision to go to Honda next year (not so strange if Honda are paying them, which let’s face it, they’d have to).

None of it looks good.

That said we don’t know exactly how bad thing shave been at Sauber for a long time. On the surface Monisha looked wildly incompetent but i suspect a lot of that was desperation to keep the team afloat by any means required. For all we know she pulled off a miracle keeping them afloat!


I think Monisha pulled of a miracle every month to keep the team alive which meant some mistakes were made together with a lot of compromises.


……have NEVER thought “gee, I think F1 needs more lawyers”…..wasn’t that Monisha’s background? having seen Max operate first hand, I always thought F1 needed more Racers, ala Frank Williams, Ron Dennis, etc, etc. Even though I haven’t been involved personally in F1 since 1980, thought that I could have had a more positive impact on the team than she did………


Oh yeah Sauber is going to be sell to Honda for sure.

MK did kept Sauber afloat during tough years when other teams collapse, but she also made a lot of mistakes and the team has been always at risk, so its good she steps away.

Also that pretty much clears the air for Mclaren running Mercedes next year.


Probably a disagreement on the technical side, she wanted a two seater f1 car, to accommodate all the drivers she was hoping to sign, much to her dismay, Zorgs upgrade a Monaco still only had a single seat.


I wonder if the rumoured new team, allegedly backed or owned by Chinese is really Sauber about to change ownership?


Forget the shady dentist, so who was Wolff saying was no good in Mercedes management?

Does Wolff not like Dr Z?

(Images of Star Wars Rogue One with the general giving it all me me me, to Darth Vader who was, well, not amused. Know your place Wolff…)


This is the article about the blackmail.

Ex-Formula One team boss Kolles tried to blackmail Wolff
Update: The person who attempted to blackmail Toto Wolff has been revealed as the former HRT boss in Formula One.

Jul.17 (GMM) Former HRT boss Colin Kolles tried to blackmail Mercedes chief Toto Wolff earlier this year, it has emerged.

We reported earlier that a conversation between Austrian Wolff and a then-unnamed former F1 team boss was “secretly recorded” and then threatened to be used against him.

Bild newspaper had said Wolff spoke negatively about his own boss, Ross Brawn, colleague Niki Lauda, and also Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche, whilst divulging details of his clashing co-ownership of the Williams team.

A subsequent report by the magazine Sport Bild said Wolff had been taped in mid February this year by former HRT and Force India boss Kolles, in Barcelona.

That report said Kolles then threatened to release the details of their explosive conversation unless he paid a sum of money.

Reportedly, Wolff and Kolles have settled their dispute with the intervention of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, while Mercedes has obtained a court order preventing the publication of the details of the conversation.

Sport1 said Kolles would not comment, and Mercedes also declined to comment.

The German news agency SID said Wolff could not be reached at time of publication.

Carlos Marques

You know what they say when “nobody ever got fired for buying IBM”? Well, the opposite can be said for anyone who buys Honda F1 engines…


I think she handled herself quite well over the years, keeping the team going through some pretty tough times. The driver contract problem was a pretty minor bump in the road I think (I mean VDG? C’mon!). Many teams have handled drivers in a worse fashion.

I can’t believe Kolles is seriously being considered. That’s a disaster for sure.

I wonder if this is Longbow actually looking to exit F1 and Honda looking to rebuild a works team knowing they will divorce McLaren? Sauber are ripe for a manufacturer takeover – it’s a cheaper way to enter the sport then pay for a new entry.


If the rumors about (CK) are true then RIP Sauber.


I’m another who finds it hard to find a good word for Kolles. He’s been involved in 4 failed F1 teams. Midland which was sold to Spyker which was sold VJ Malia to become force India which began to enjoy success after he went, and HRT and Caterham both of which went out of business. I wouldn’t want to be in the same place as him.

Instant departures tend to mean someone was fired or resigned in very angry circumstances, so we can only guess what happened with Monisha. Anyone want to bet against Sauber becoming Honda, and McLaren having a different engine in 2018 ?


Collin Kolles? Really? Who are they going to hire as their Chief Ethics Officer, Flavio Briatore?


Flavio Briatore

Lol – he could double up as chief strategist too , seeing as they are on a tight budget.


A dynamic duo!


Sounds like they want to get the outfit lined up to sell, perhaps to Honda?


Could be, but…why would Honda move from most complete worst engine ever (no power, no reliability, record breaking fuel consumption) to worst team in the field?.
They’d buy the FIA entry, but the rest is to scrap (including drivers). And Honda to re-build this up??….BAR, anyone?.


Colin Kolles as team principal and Jorg Zander running the technical side. Not exactly a winning combination, in fact probably doomed from the start. Especially as Kolles won’t be trusted by some of the other teams, given his alleged use of secretly recorded conversations.


I don’t even remember much about the Kolles Wolff conversation but I wouldn’t be surprised by anything underhanded from Merc given their secret testing. I feel like Sauber only for worse after MK. I really like Sauber as a person. It would be amazing in BMW decided to come back into F1 via that team….


Still banging the drum for the ‘secret’ test Cheesypoof? Not much of a secret when they told two senior FIA officials that they were doing the test (both of whom said it was ok), was it? Loving the idea that Mercedes are any worse when it comes to duplicity than any of the others….


I wouldn’t be surprised by anything underhanded from Merc

I think you may have got your wires crossed Cheesy. It was Kolles who was doing the blackmailing (allegedly). He had taped a conversation where Wolff was slagging off various colleagues and apparently he asked for a sum of money or he would release the tape.


@ C63…I don’t recall any of this. Any sources?


Any sources?

I’m away at the moment and only on my phone so can’t attach a link (don’t know how). Google and then search Kolles blackmailing and you should get the article. It all happened quite a while back as Ross Brawn was Toto’s boss at the time.


@ C63…cool. thanks for that. i’ll follow it up.


So who was more wrong, Kolles or Wolff?


Exactly! I imagine F1 is just like any other big business, lot’s of backdoor conversations and cutthroat dealings.


Thanks C63… no wonder I couldn’t remember it. Wouldn’t be first time my wires were crossed.


Almost forgot about that Kolles – Wolff episode.


you can bet Toto Wolff hasn’t!


Sad that Kaltenborn had to leave – strange goings on at Sauber, seems she lost the power struggle.
But Kolles? Wow, after the blackmail attempt I didn’t think we’d hear about him again, although there’s usually more to these things than publicised.


I have to highlight how Sauber ruined Felipe Nasr career too.
IN 2016 Sauber took his sponsorship money but had no other sources of income to develop the car, as it supposed to have.
So Nasr money was – probably – directed toward debt/interest payment and at the end of the year Nasr scored the points that allowed the team the FiA WCC Prize money.
So in 2016 Nasr contributed with +$ 30 Million to the team for an not competitive car that buried/hampered his F1 career.
It was all legal, but the moral of the story…

Poor Peter Sauber. Its sad when your pristine organization – with your surname on it – is throw into the mud… while you’re still alive.


Monisha took a bad Sauber situation and made it worse. Although she will be remembered for the Giedo van der Garde lawsuit, let us not forget Monisha brought managerial stability to Sauber after years of neglect under Peter Sauber.


An interesting reading of the situation to say the least…

Stephen Taylor

Years of neglect under Peter Sauber ? That’s utter twaddle.


Perhaps I was a bit harsh with Peter Sauber, but remember this was the preferred Red Bull team. That dream died when Sauber offended Mateschitz, admittedly it was over a young Kimi Raikkonen, but look what Mateschitz accomplished with the old Jaguar team and I am not sure Kimi was worth it at that point. Also do not forget that was after Sauber frustrated Fritz Kaiser (another billionaire) to leave the team.
Sauber then “sold” the majority of the shares to Credit Suisse but insisted on retaining majority of the voting rights and the power to veto any move from Hinwil. Credit Suisse is the one that brought in the BMW team. When BMW abandoned F1, none wanted to buy the team except a Swiss shadow company, that was too shady and opaque for even Bernie. So he stepped in and bought the team back, except he did not register the change of ownership or obtain a FIA grid spot in time so the team ended up with the provisional entry. Luckily Toyota followed BMW and Sauber got its place on the grid (but Peter did not register the teams name so they raced without any sponsors and as BMW, even though BMW had no interest in the team). Even Peter Saubert admitted the return of Sauber was less than idea but he admitted the decision was emotional. Finally he handed this under-funded and under-capitalized team to Monesha (who was originally brought into the team by Kaiser to bring order to the team’s corporate and legal affairs). From that second coming of the Sauber Team, ever major driver decision made by Sauber has been about money first and merit second. Kamui Kobayashi, Nick Heidfeld, Sergio Pérez, Esteban Gutiérrez, Robin Frijns, Simona de Silvestro, Sergey Sirotkin, Adrian Sutil, Marcus Ericsson, Felipe Nasr, Pascal Wehrlein, and of course van der Garde. Infact I think Hulkenberg may have been their only merit only driver.

So yes I was harsh, but you cannot divorce Peter from the mess that is post BMW Sauber

Stephen Taylor

Red Bull still had sponsorship on the Sauber car until 2004 finished. it just became less obvious after 2000. Fredrick do you understand why RB allegedly fell out went with Sauber? . If I tell you why you will change your tune over Sauber being wrong about Kimi. Red Bull apparently did not like the the fact that Mr Sauber picked Kimi over Enrique Bernoldi whose only claim to fame became wrecking David Coulthard’s 2001 race at Monaco . Now Fredrick if you actually factor in just what a slow appalling driver Bernoldi was you can hardly blame Sauber putting Raikkonen in instead. If Raikkonen had not been earthed by Sauber he possibly may not have been in F1 at all and certainly wouldn’t have been given the chance to replace Mika when he retired.

The Arrows car Bernoldi drove in 2001/2 had RB logos on it as a result . If anything this Bernoldi fiasco probably made Mateschitz realise RB had to develop better young talent to the point that they would be able to flourish in F1 .

Hence the inception of the modern RB young driver program which has come so renowned now as a hotbed for young talent in F1 and other disciplines.

Raikkonen definitely was worth look at what he went on to achieve whilst Bernoldi did nothing of note except annoy DC. Also BMW when they pulled the plug they left Peter in a very difficult position and it was bound to be a struggle with the manufacturer support gone.

I don’t think he really wanted the team back when BMW left but he couldn’t just let the team fold which it would have done had he not bought the back That’s not the mark of man who has neglected the team for years. The one criticism you could make is maybe he could handed the reigns over a bit sooner to Monisha but that’s about it.and your rubbish about the pre-BMW era is bizarre as Sauber were very solid midfield runners as they always had had with the Petronas sponsorship and they were never going to challenge the grandees on small to medium budget with customer rebadged as Petronas Ferrari V10 engine in the pre-BMW times anyway.

The biggest blow Sauber suffered was losing their Petronas deals to Mercedes when Peter bought the team back in 2010 not losing RB drinks company but a lot of people forget that.


Kolles!! Really!! He is a (not so) shining example wrong man having the power on multiple occasions. You can see how Force India has risen ever since they chucked him. If he was as efficient as Bernie claims, Caterham might not have folded.

A man who records private conversation for the purpose of blackmailing deserves no place in any sport.


Unfortunate. I wonder if Longbow will sell the whole operation to Honda now.


Honda could then appoint Monisha to manage the team. She would probaly be a good choice!


that would interesting, along the lines of what Renault did with Lotus I suppose but I doubt it.


“In 2013, Kolles was revealed to have recorded a Toto Wolff conversation about Mercedes’ management having also attempted to blackmail the leading F1 outfit’s Executive Director.”

Blimey, forget Kaltenborn, run a story on this!!!


That will not be so easy. Kolles seems to be a nasty individual.
In short he taped Wolff speaking negatively about Ross Brawn and Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche. He disclosed details of Williams shareholding, his nasty duties at Mercedes, and his difficult relation with Niki Lauda.
So Toto is not a saint either, on the contrary, quite miserable. Just add to that what he recently said about Nico Roseberg.


@ Alan F1…interesting. Where did you get this info? Any more rto come?


Not entirely relevant but I noticed recently that Toto is about number 400 on the Sunday Times Rich List with a wealth of about £250 million. You probably don’t accumulate that much money by being Mr Nice Guy all the time!


According to his Twitter, Giedo van der Garde is interested in the job.


He has not heard they have offered the job to two other people!


Sauber have a history of being prone to ‘mishaps’ many of which seem to be self inflicted. Kaltenborn’s apparent mishandling of the VDG contracts issue being one glaring example. Obviously there was a lot more to it than we were told but all the same it appeared at face value as gross ineptitude. A very costly exercise, one which no doubt cost sauber dearly and at the same time tarnished her reputation. I would think that she won’t be missed. The rumour of Kolles returning may well come to fruition as he has the runs on the board as a competent operator….It is of interest to note the comments re Kolles and the ‘blackmail’. That is the first i’ve ever heard of it and my interest is piqued somewhat. Any chance of some further detail? Meantime i must say i liked the comment by VDG ‘offering his services as a team principal’. Now that would be a very good example of the ‘biter getting bitten’ hahaha


Agreed Ken -MK is a lawyer and look what she did with the contracts. Kolles (a dentist), is sure to have tooth rot setting in


Kolles?? What has that guy ever achieved? Feels like he’s always bad luck wherever he goes….

MK: didn’t care much for her especially after the driver debacle and how Sauber almost went under on her insistence not to sell her shares to longbow. Guess it was written on the wall since.

Always liked Mr Sauber though and how admirably he held it after BMW exit. No doubt Every single soul and true fan watching the sport wishes Sauber the best. So Onwards and upwards Sauber, Taste the power of dreams!


Don’t you mean “The dreams of power” ?


As you say they are a much loved team and I wish them the best, but I suspect that with Honda they may end up tasting something else 🙁


“What has that guy ever achieved?”
He has a proven track record in blackmail, who else can claim that much???


Still, tell me you want to know what was in those recordings. I do lol. I would love to. Maybe Wolff’s true colour would be revealed.


Are you saying Alonso is going to Sauber in 2018?




Couldn’t of said it better about your comment on Peter Sauber, though in my opinion I thought MK did a good job during some very difficult times before the team was purchased.


sauber should replace her with wolff…..


Sad news from an equality point of view, but it has to be said some of Sauber’s practices since she took over haven’t exactly been top notch – the three-drivers-for-two-seats fiasco was pretty poor form. The team really is breaking from Sauber’s past, I wonder if a name change is on the cards before long?


What has this got ‘equality”?


She had it coming for a while and it is a surprise she lasted this long in F1. She made too many mistakes. It could be the Ericsson / Wehrlein issue which sent her packing but she has handled so many thing very badly especially when it came to drivers.



Whilst MK is certainly no saint and has made mistakes (in my armchair opinion), Sauber is still in business when many others are not. She has had to contend not just with BMW leaving the sport, but also a period of global financial uncertainty with a general lack of funding and investors.

I wish her well with her future endeavours.


Agreed. While Monisha was credited with preventing Sauber going under, her treatment of drivers was never good – and the settlement they had to pay Giedo vdG for breach of contract must have cost them dearly. Not forgetting the revolving door of technical directors under her watch did not help. She will not be missed – let’s hope someone can pick up the pieces and take this Team forward. Colin Kolles, while not “Mr nice”, is quite effective and might be the man?


I think you’ve got to give Kaltenborn credit where it’s due. The team is still here and ask yourself this – would such an experienced lawyer accidentally sign three drivers? More likely that Ericsson was bringing so much money to the team it made paying off van der Garde worthwhile.


My pick would’ve been Gerhard Berger! This proves once again F1 is still a man’s world!


I thought that was Gerhard Berger in that photo at first! 😀


Agree 100%
Abject failure & several enabarssing driver dealings. Anyone forget Australia 3 years ago…? Court injunctions etc


She took the helm at Sauber in the aftermath of BMW ditching them. The team then went through one its strongest periods, including 4 podiums in 2012, before running into financial trouble. From there Kaltenborn kept the team afloat year on year while the likes of HRT, Marussia, Caterham, Lotus and Manor all collapsed.

The one thing you could maybe fault her on is the 2015 driver fiasco, but the team was essentially bankrupt at that point so I think it’s very likely that Sauber wouldn’t be on the grid today were it not for that whole situation.


In 2015 she said she would do what it takes to save the team – she cheated with the drivers and risked prison. Fair enough.
She’s got brains and determination, and is a woman in an alpha-male environment. Whatever her mistakes, I’m sad to see her go.


She didn’t risk prison. In the end, she simply bought Vd Garde off.
The case was about the fact that he didn’t like it and wanted to race and also because he needed to get as much out of it as possible according to business magazine Quote, since Giedo (or is father in law who is his backer) had people to pay back, at least in part.

In football we see people getting paid off all the time (coaches mostly). They probably decided that the Ericsson money was worth the case. And they were right, since Longbow is the party above Ericssons backers, which isn’t a coincidence.


Yeah – I don’t think you can fault Kaltenborn for her financial management. She might not have had the greatest nouse when it came to the hiring of specific personalities and talent, and she wasn’t there to be a technical expert, but she certainly kept Sauber in better financial condition than I think anyone could have expected when it was looking very likely they might disappear in a similar way that Manor or Lotus after a lack of performance.


What Ericsson/Wehrlein issue?


allegedly she wanted wehrlein as senior driver and longbow wanted ericsson. i have to believe the honda thing is figuring in there somewhere..


I have read she wanted parity for drivers (wehrlien is Mercedes, might not want them as an enemy) and longbow came attached to Ericsson so they wanted him as priority.


Maybe right.
She did keep it afloat for a long time so credit to her for her business acumen. Lacking in racing strategy let her down and her choice in drivers were on a purely financial .
But who will take over ?
Stefano D or Martin Whitmarsh or will the apparently silent owners come out their tax free Island hideouts now.
Maybe not.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Bernie Ecclestone ghost owns the team 👻.
So only Claire Williams and a handful of female garage staff left in F1.
You can cut the synching ‘Monthly cycles’ silence with a Bunny hop 😨😄


She was never really that kind of team principal. She was on the pitwall, sure, but strategy calls were delegated to those better qualified, I think. I can’t imagine there was much opportunity to sign drivers on anything other than financial grounds.


Not why Domenicali would want to leave his role as CEO of Lamborghini for this, unless you know something I don’t!


Martin “Jenson Button lover” Whitmarsh
What a disgrace!


Guess Martin would have a bit of free time now, playing with yachts seems to have sailed its course.


Maybe not – BAR has announced its an on going project to win the Americas cup and Landrover have stated that they will be sponsoring them for the next cycle which is 2 years


IMHO it went downhill from the point where she got involved with the Russians. Big money was promissed (as is usual with the Russians) plus teenager Sirotkin as a driver. The team lost its momentum badly at that time, and reputation.


Yes she did make many mistakes. The biggest one was to become a captain of a sinking ship. If wasn’t for her negotiations over the last decade, Sauber would’ve been a history long time ago. Kolles as a boss is like a time bomb in a sinking ship. I looked up some of his record in management level. Pretty much everything he touched went broke. Gotta laugh at this irony. Saddest thing is that the name Sauber badly damaged too much.


Kolles isn’t actually bad, but he’s really a ‘survival’ team principal. He’s truly brutal when it comes to cutting costs to keep a team going but he’s probably not the man you want to take you forward. Longbow have supposedly secured Sauber’s immediate future so for that reason, I think it’s more likely they’ll turn to Vasseur.


If Kolles gets the job, that’s the end of Sauber. They’ll be luck to make it too the end of the year.
He is just a con-artist. Gunna do this, gunna do that, none of it ever happens but he still gets paid while the backers with the cash suddenly find them themselves skint.


The By Kolles car made only 7 laps at Le Mans this year, and while the retirement was apparently caused by debris, one of the Radio Le Mans presenters commented that 7 laps was “about right” for that car…

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