Sauber drivers stunned by Kaltenborn exit

2017 F1 season

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Sauber drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson expressed their surprise at the sudden departure of team principal Monisha Kaltenborn, which was announced yesterday.

“I spoke to her on Tuesday evening when she called me,” explained Wehrlein. “I was obviously very surprised about it when she told me about what would happen. Coming to here obviously everyone is asking those questions and it feels different.”

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Wehrlein indicated he had some understanding of the reasons by Kaltenborn’s dismissal, which came about so quickly the team has not yet appointed a replacement.

“I didn’t ask her for the perfect explanation because she doesn’t have to tell me the explanation,” he said. “She told me what will happen and what’s happening.”

“I have a very good relationship with her. Obviously I’m very thankful to her for what she did. Thanks to her I’m here in Sauber. She helped me so much when I was injured and that’s also what I told her I will never forget and I’m very thankful.”

Ericsson said the news was “all quite sudden” for him. “It’s nothing I’m involved with so I don’t know what’s been behind it,” he added. “For me it’s just the last couple of days I knew about it.”

Sauber simultaneously issued a strong denial of unspecified media reports alleging “that our race drivers have not been, and are not being, treated equally”. Ericsson insisted the claims were “false”.

“For me that’s the upsetting bit with everything that’s been going on in the last 24 hours because it’s completely untrue,” he said.

“It upsets me because it’s disrespectful to all the members in the team, not only at the track but also at the factory, because they work day and night to try to make this team successful again and to come out with these claims I think is very disrespectful to all the people in the team, and also to us drivers, because it’s completely untrue.”

“We are a fair team and both drivers are given equal fairness. I think that’s very important.”

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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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6 comments on “Sauber drivers stunned by Kaltenborn exit”

  1. Sauber/Kaltenborn never should have sold the team, at least not to a 3rd rate driver’s backers. How could anyone expect things to go any differently? Amazed me when people were celebrating that Sauber “got funding” as if it didn’t cost them anything…

    Ericsson playing dumb is expected. It’s not as if he can come out and say “my seats been paid for so I deserve it”.

    Anyway, good luck to Sauber, that is all the people that work for the team. Hopefully Longbow find a buyer for after Ericsson has had his playtime otherwise they’re likely to go the way of Manor et al.

    1. You don’t think Mercedes payed for Wehrlein’s seat?

      Playing dumb? Do you actually think a team can favorise a driver regarding parts/equipment, that would be suicide for a F1 team.

      The only one playing dumb in this mess is Wehrlein with his no comments answers and everyone else denying the rumour.

      1. GtisBetter (@)
        23rd June 2017, 9:52

        What? Favoritism is a long tradition in f1. It happens a lot. Especially with new parts and updates. Wehrlein is great, cause technically mercedes is his boss, so he doesn’t have to dance to the Sauber PR tune. He is saying nothing, but at the same time a lot.

  2. Very sad, Koltenborn always seemed to be hanging on by her fingernails in the team for the last 2 or 3 years and not by any fault of her own..hope she enjoys a successful future…l would demote Claire back to fluffy press releases and give Monisha Claire’s chair No brainer!!!

  3. amazing that pay drivers can buy a classic team and fire the person running it

    Ericsson and his sugar daddies are a disgrace
    it is hard to watch people like him stroll and palmer in F1

    1. How does completely unsubstantiated comments founded on personal bias if not outright hatred such as those of Tristan and Michel constitute valid opinions and why should they be allowed?

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