The Formula 1 pit lane has been shocked by the news that Monisha Kaltenborn has left the Sauber Formula 1 outfit as its team principal, effective immediately.

In a statement issued by Sauber Chairman Pascal Picci, it was confirmed the departure was “by mutual consent and due to diverging views of the future of the company”.

In 2012 the Indian-born Austrian became the sport’s first female team principal, after joining the team 12 years prior as the head of their legal department.

The team, who this year are celebrating 25 consecutive years in Formula 1, were acquired by Swiss company Longbow Finance last July when founder Peter Sauber sold his controlling stake.

It is understood the new owners and Kaltenborn disagreed on how to run the team, with particular regard to their drivers.

“There is significant speculation that what caused her to leave the team is that she wanted equal treatment between the two drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson,” Sky Sports News HQ reported from Baku.

“Whereby the team’s owners wanted to give preferential treatment to Ericsson, the Swede, who is closely linked to the group that bought the team.”

There is speculation Kaltenborn’s replacement will be former HRT team principal and Caterham F1 advisor, Colin Kolles. Sauber have stated a replacement will be “announced shortly”.

Ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Sauber sits ninth on the Constructors’ Championship table ahead only of the struggling McLaren Honda team.

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Elle Haus

Journalist at MotorsportM8
Seasoned media and communications professional. Tropical traveller. Cocktail connoisseur.