Sauber have announced that the former Renault team principal Frederic Vasseur will be joining their team as their new team principal, following the departure of Monisha Kaltenborn ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix last month.
Vassure, who managed the Renault F1 team for a single season in 2016, quickly emerged as the frontrunner for the position when the news of Kaltenborn’s departure broke. Vassure has vast experience in the junior categories and has worked with a number of the grid’s leading drivers. He will start work at Sauber on July 17, the day after this weekend’s British GP.
“I’m very proud to be joining Sauber Motorsport AG, and wish to thank the company’s shareholders for their trust in me,” said Vasseur, who also takes on the roles of managing director and chief executive of Sauber. “I’ve been impressed by the facilities in Hinwil and by the talent and ambition of the workforce, and I very much look forward to complementing the team with my experience and determination and drive all people in the right direction in everything they do: I am convinced that all together we will achieve ambitious targets.
“I cannot wait to start working with our drivers, engineers and all the staff. I look forward to contributing to the next important phase in the development of the team.”
Sauber were taken over in 2016 by Longbow Finance, and it was suggested at the time that the investment team wanted to oust the team principal Kaltenborn in favour of someone of their own choosing. Days before the Azerbaijan Grand Prix last month it was confirmed that Kaltenborn had quit following an argument with Longbow over how the team should be run. Speculation has been that one of the main issues was the way Longbow wanted to treat the teams drivers this season, Wehrlein and Ericsson. The understanding is the new owners wished to give Ericsson priority over Wehrlein, though Kaltenborn was not in favour of the idea. Ultimately it is this rift between the two parties that was the reason for Kaltenborn’s termination effective immediately.
Vassure will have his work cut out for him with Sauber, who currently sit in ninth in the championship ahead of McLaren. It is imperative to the team that they keep scoring points if they wish to finish ahead of the Woking based team in the championship this season.
Feature Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nicolas_Todt_and_Frederic_Vasseur.JPG