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Sauber still talking to ‘several candidates’ to replace Kaltenborn

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Sauber is still engaged in talks with “several candidates” over the vacant team principal role following Monisha Kaltenborn’s exit last month, and is in no rush to appoint a replacement.

Kaltenborn left Sauber after 17 years following a disagreement with chairman Pascal Picci over the future direction of the team and alleged unfair treatment of drivers Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein.

Sauber was jointly run by team manager Beat Zehnder and technical director Jörg Zander in Baku, and the pair continue to hold the reins in Austria as a replacement for Kaltenborn is yet to have been decided on.

“I cannot tell you [when a decision will be made] because we are still in talks with several candidates,” Zehnder said.

“And as soon as we have something announce, we will.

“We have to be realistic. It’s only two weeks since Monisha was not with us anymore. Still everything is under control.

“It’s not a big deal for the moment. There is not an immediate decision that has to be taken.

Kaltenborn was instrumental in brokering a deal for Sauber to use Honda engines in 2018, but Zehnder does not feel that her departure will affect the team’s preparations for next season.

“If we haven’t got a team principal for the next half of the year then it might be a problem,” Zehnder said.

“But for the moment, everything is running. Everything is in order.”

Sauber currently sits ninth in the F1 constructors’ championship with five points to its name, three clear of basement team McLaren.

Provisional Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew ready for IndyCar ride

Road to Indy
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Provisional Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew has done nothing but dominate the 2019 season, winning seven of the 16 races run so far and finishing on the podium in all but two of those events.

Now all the 22-year-old Floridian needs to do to formally clinch the 2019 title is simply start the final two races of the season, both of which will be held this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

For Askew, his maiden Indy Lights season will likely be one he’ll never forget. 

“It’s been a dream come true,” Askew told NBC Sports. “Being with the championship-winning team from last year, we had a really good shot at winning it again for Andretti Autosport. It’s very rare that we show up to a track and struggle to find speed. 

“That’s a fantastic feeling, especially as a driver. That gave me a lot of confidence and hopes of holding the million dollar check at the end of the year. That was the goal going into it.”

This weekend, Askew will accomplish said goal. The championship will not only bring him a sense of pride, but also the opportunity of a lifetime. 

As an award for being crowned the Indy Lights champion, Askew will be awarded a scholarship that guarantees him entry into a minimum of three NTT IndyCar Series events next year – including the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500. 

Time will only tell which team Askew will race for in IndyCar next season, and whether or not Askew’s rookie campaign will be a full-time or part-time affair, but Askew’s performance during the last few seasons in the Road to Indy system has certainly drawn attention of IndyCar’s top team owners.

In August, Askew had the chance to drive an Indy car for the first time in his career during a test session at Portland International Raceway, driving the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda usually piloted by Scott Dixon.

“It was an opportunity with Chip Ganassi Racing that I was very fortunate to have,” Askew said. “I think with my experience in the past couple of years with Cape Motorsports and this year with Andretti Autosport, going into that test was very helpful.

“Going into the test, it was more of trying to treat it as just another day at the racetrack, when it really wasn’t. It was a fantastic opportunity for me – a great experience – and I hope I can take that into my rookie season next year in IndyCar.” 

The final two races of the 2019 Indy Lights season will take place this weekend on Saturday, September 21 at 6 p.m. ET and Sunday, September 22 at 12:05 p.m. ET. Both races will air live on NBC Sports Gold.

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