Sauber Formula 1 CEO Monisha Kaltenborn has parted company with the team with immediate effect ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Kaltenborn has worked with Sauber since 1998 and was appointed the CEO of its motorsport interests in 2010, before becoming F1’s first female team principal two years later.
Kaltenborn played an instrumental role in keeping Sauber afloat amid years of financial uncertainty, with its long-term future being secured following a takeover by Longbow Finance last summer.
The new investors kept Kaltenborn on in her role as CEO and team principal, with Sauber going on a significant recruitment drive in the closing stages of last year. Sauber also recently announced a new engine tie-up with Honda from 2018.
However, news of Kaltenborn’s departure from Sauber emerged on Wednesday morning, just days before the next grand prix in Azerbaijan.
The team is yet to issue an official statement regarding Kaltenborn’s exit, but an announcement is expected later on Wednesday.
According to a report from Autosport‘s Dieter Rencken, Kaltenborn could be replaced as team boss at Sauber by Colin Kolles, who has previously been involved with the Caterham, HRT and Force India projects in the past among others.
Kolles’ most active involvement in motorsport currently is his ByKolles LMP1 team in the FIA World Endurance Championship, but this is set to withdraw from the remainder of the season after the July 16 round at the Nürburgring.
Sauber currently sits ninth in the F1 constructors’ championship with four points from the opening seven races of the season, all scored by Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein.