Drivers stunned as Sauber chief Monisha steps down

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Monisha KaltenbornMonisha Kaltenborn

Sauber drivers Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein said yesterday they were surprised by the team owners’ shock decision to dump Formula One’s first female team boss Monisha Kaltenborn on Wednesday. The two men spoke after arriving in the paddock at Baku ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix and had differing views on the background to the departure of the Indian-born Austrian, 46, who had been team boss since being appointed by team founder Peter Sauber in 2012.

“It’s all been quite sudden, the last 48 hours. We have to trust the owners that they know what they are doing and that they have a good plan for the future,” said Ericsson. It had been widely reported on Wednesday that Kaltenborn was against the owners’ plans to favour Swede Ericsson over German Pascal Wehrlein. Ericsson said this was not true and emphatically denied the theory before seeming to back-track when told that Wehrlein had declined to comment on that aspect of the story.

Wehrlein, also said that he was caught out by the unexpected news, but had received a phone call from Kalternborn on Tuesday evening who had explained.

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