Kaltenborn to take over as Sauber team principal

2012 F1 season

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Peter Sauber will step down as team principal of his outfit, the team have confirmed.

The team’s CEO Monisha Kaltenborn will take over from Sauber, who turns 69 on Saturday. Sauber has previously said he wished to relinquish his duties before turning 70.

“We decided a long time ago that Monisha would take over from me but we left the timing open,” said Sauber.

“Now is a good time for both of us, so this is the right moment to pass on the baton. After all, there have been a number of races I’ve been unable to attend – most recently the Japanese Grand Prix, where the team put in an excellent performance.

“I’m in no doubt that Monisha has all the necessary skills to be an outstanding team principal, and I’m equally certain she will ensure that the values underpinning the company live on. That is very important to me.”

Kaltenborn joined Sauber in 2000 and has been the team’s CEO since 2010. She said: “Naturally I’m very aware of the major responsibility I have for Peter Sauber’s racing team.

“He founded the team over 40 years ago, and in the spring it will be 20 years since Sauber lined up for its debut Formula One Grand Prix. We are the fourth-oldest team in Formula One.

“To build up a project like this and keep it alive in a difficult environment is a tremendous achievement. I have set my sights high and am committed to taking the team forward as Peter Sauber would want and leading it on to success.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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22 comments on “Kaltenborn to take over as Sauber team principal”

  1. All the best, good luck becoming fourth most winning team along with the fourth oldest!!!!!

  2. All the best Monisha :)

  3. Again, I’m very glad to read this news today. Monisha has always struck me as very forthright (for someone high up in a racing team), warm and open, yet she has a fantastic (and often humorous) skill for promptly shutting down journalists and others who attempt to bait her. She’s done great work at Sauber and her promotion, though expected at this point, is richly deserved. And of course, wonderful to finally see a female team principal in the sport, period.

    1. couldn’t have said it better!

    2. Totally agree, well said! (Now can we get rid of the grid girls maybe? Just kidding, one has nothing to do with the other really, but fab to see a woman officially in charge rather then just looking ornamental.)

      1. I go back and forth a lot on the subject of grid girls, to be honest. I’m never a fan of seeing women objectified and being employed purely for the sake of being ornamental… but on the other hand, they are professional models, and it’s part of their job. It’s a high profile gig for them, and if they genuinely do want to be there, all the more power to them. (After all, feminism isn’t about any “right” way of being a woman, it’s about equality and freedom of choice.)

        That said, I remember a user here, back when there was a big discussion about the purpose of grid girls in a post a while back, suggesting that a much better alternative would be local fans holding the driver numbers. I loved that idea then, and I still do now.

        Either way, I agree, it’s great to see Monisha officially getting to take the reigns, and hopefully many more will follow in her wake. I find her to be a very inspirational person, and not because she’s a woman – though we can only guess how hard she’s had to work to break into such a heavily male-dominated sport as F1 – but because I love her style, and from what we’ve seen from her, she’s done a great job doing exactly what needs to be done for the Sauber team.

  4. real retirement of Peter Sauber?

  5. “We are the fourth-oldest team in Formula One.”

    I’m feeling oooold now! I remember their debut like it was yesterday! Seeing those gorgeous black cars with their quirky different coloured mirrors line up on the grid and almost instantly be competitive really made me smile. Thanks for the memories Peter.

    Good luck to Monisha, she really does seem like the best person for the job.

  6. I like what I see with Monisha, she appears to be level headed and a good choice for Team Principle. If Peter is happy to hand over the reigns after the Japanese GP, he must have been quite happy with Kobayashi’s performance. This gives me hope for next year. I’m keeping my fingers crossed the media have been misinterpreting and overreacting to the post-race interviews.

  7. Keith should do a retrospective on Sauber’s 20 years. Quite remarkable how they managed over the decades.
    dark days with Karl Wendlinger, then Kimi, Felipe,Heidfeld now Perez / Kamui. I remember the beautiful blue cars in early 2000’s

  8. A bit sad news.
    Peter Sauber has always been one of the true gentleman in F1. And with an amazing eye for new talent.
    Will miss him around.
    On the other hand, he has managed the succession pretty well, and I hope the team under Monisha’s management will continue to make him proud.

  9. Good Luck Monisha.

    Congrats Mr Peter Sauber, a gentleman I truly respect and admire.

  10. Good luck to Kaltenborn, she’s the first female team principle ever. Unfortunate and very sad that Peter Sauber is retiring though, he had such a sharp eye for young talent. ;(

  11. Best Wishes to Monisha. Hope she does well, and hope the team does well. I really hope they maintain their “Sauber-ness” of the team. They have always swayed from the norm, be it with strategy or drivers. Its team with such great character.

    Peter Sauber will surely be missed. He has to be credited as one of the best talent spotters in F1 history.

  12. Lovely to see a woman breaking through in to topspots like she has done the last few years. F1 is still a (too much) male dominated / testosterone driven sport. And she has gotten where she is on merit, there are folks in F1 who didn’t.

  13. I’m wondering if a woman has ever been on the podium as a team representative. Obviously there’s been no drivers for a while, but have women been up there receiving anything by any other means?

  14. Peter Sauber is a great sports man. Not only did he set up a racing team, but he entered F1 and was quite successfull quite soon. Their approach has always striken me as the right one, considering they are not amongst the top teams, but they have always searched for drivers with talent over those with money. The great instinct that Sauber had in finding young talents has helped many of them enter F1, and with a good car they proved themselves and made their way up. Raikkonen was almost nobody in 2001, but Sauber signed him and the next year he was at McLaren. The year later he was second in the championship and in 2007 he finally won it. Massa was a risk he took and Ferrari were interested in him right away, and they helped develop him for a seat in 2006, which he has kept for 7 years now (only Schumacher has more seasons at the Prancing Horse if I’m not mistaken). BMW thought of them when they entered F1, as they were an established and solid midfield team. With the German’s manufacturer money they eventually won a race and took their first pole position, but when they withdrew in 2009 Peter was extremely brave to buy the team back despite having very little money, because it was his creation and he was sad to see it go. He was right, and their performances have quickly risen in these three years, and one of their drivers now will go to McLaren, proving their line-up is better than most other teams’. They were about to close down but Peter saved his own team, so it must be a sad moment for him to let go of it, but he does so after struggling a lot in these years and is handing the team over to Monisha, who he really respects, when they are not struggling with sponsors or performance; in a much easier situation. She seems very skilled and apparently thinks like Peter, which is good as Sauber stand out for their character from other teams and it would be a shame to see it change.
    Sauber has been a great team principal and it’s very sad to see him leave his own team, but Kaltenborn is the best person to replace him and I’m sure she’ll do a great job. I wish her all the best luck.

    1. Right words!!!

  15. I dont think I’ve ever heard a bad word spoken of Peter Sauber, he’s always seemed above the petty politics of F1, hopefully Monisha can carry on his legacy in the same vein.

  16. He’s 69?! Doesn’t look it.

    Great news for F1 and Sauber. She strikes me as a lovely lady with a lot to give our sport.

  17. This is great news, for Peter, for Monisha, for the sport as a whole.

    I struggle to think of a team or the leaders of another team that are so well liked and respected. All the best to them and to Sauber!

  18. Perfect. Every single time I’ve seen/read an interview with Kaltenborn, she’s stressed the economics of F1. Even in her comments on the Concorde Agreement, she believes that the decisions should be made based on income (ie – the teams should have greater say because they make the money) as opposed to the integrity of the sport. I, for one, give a sigh as we lose another team purely to pay-drivers and profit. At this rate, F1 will be the least talented drivers with the richest friends going to teams who want to make money instead of winning races. Congratulations Sauber.

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