India born Monisha Kalterborn is set to become Formula 1's first woman team principal after she takes over the reins from current Sauber chief Peter Sauber Saturday, on the latter's 69th birthday.
Peter Sauber announced some time ago that he did not wish to be on the pit wall when he turned 70 and the company founder will step back from the day-to-day running of the team.
Kaltenborn, 41, the team’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for business operations at Hinwil, Switzerland since early 2010. She will now additionally take over the role of team principal at trackside with immediate effect.
Peter Sauber, in the meantime, will continue as the president of the board of directors of the Sauber Group of companies and remain responsible for the group’s strategic direction.
“We decided a long time ago that Monisha would take over from me,” said Peter Sauber in a statement to the official Formula 1 website.
“We left the timing open. Now is a good time for both of us, so this is the right moment to pass on the baton. There have been a number of races I’ve been unable to attend - most recently the Japanese Grand Prix - where the team put in an excellent performance. I’m in no doubt that Monisha has all the necessary skills to be an outstanding team principal.”
Kaltenborn, an Austrian citizen, joined the company in 2000 to run the legal department, was appointed a member of the board of management not long afterwards and took over as CEO in January 2010. In 2011 Peter transferred a third of the company’s shares to her name.
“Naturally, I’m very aware of the major responsibility I have for Peter Sauber’s racing team,” says Kaltenborn.
“He founded the team over 40 years ago and in the spring it will be 20 years since Sauber lined up for its debut Formula 1 Grand Prix. We are the fourth-oldest team in Formula One. I have set my sights high and am committed to taking the team forward as Peter Sauber would want and leading it on to success.”
Kaltenborn Saturday will also become the second Indian-born principal in Formula 1 after Force India's Vijay Mallya.