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Kaltenborn keeps coy on Longbow

NEWS STORY
11/08/2016

While most F1 team bosses have their roots in racing, or even marketing, Sauber's Monisha Kaltenborn comes from a legal background having studied law at the University of Vienna and London School of Economics.

And those legal skills are never more visible than in an interview with the official F1 website in which she gives very little away, especially in terms of her team's new owner, the mysterious Longbow Finance.

"They are a company engaged in financial activities, and typically the investments are managing investment portfolios and doing private equity," she said when asked about the company and its reported (very close) links to Tetra Laval which backs Marcus Ericsson.

When it is pointed out that the company has no internet presence and even the identity of its management board is shrouded in mystery, she adds: "They have been active for more than 20 years in this business, so that should be long enough.

Refusing to be drawn on the Ericsson connection and whether this guarantees him a 'drive for life', she is asked what made Sauber so attractive to Longbow but not other potential buyers.

"The answer has to be in view of where they plan to go, and that explains the reason in what they saw in us to be able to go there," she replies. "Their clear intention is first of all to stabilise the situation - stabilise the group - and then strengthen and grow our engineering services. To broaden the third-party business with the services from our engineering side, to commercialise the technologies that we have, the know-how that we have.

"We have been doing this a long time," she continues, "and that’s where they are seeing a bigger potential. To see how one Swiss company interacts with another Swiss company in high-tech based in Switzerland, technology that is unique in Switzerland. This part is not dependant on where we stand in Formula One.

"Everybody knows the kind of infrastructure that we have," she continues. "We are very much leading in the aerodynamic services, in simulation and software development and in 3D we are also very strong. That can be taken to other racing series or even in other areas where you can apply these procedures outside the world of motorsport.

"We are already out there in the market with certain things and that is where Longbow Finance sees the potential."

Sauber, along with Force India, has lodged a complaint with the European Union, questioning the governance of F1 and the system of dividing revenues, asked if Longbow is depending on the verdict in terms of its future financing of Sauber, Kaltenborn admits: "No, because you cannot bank on these things. But what I can say is that the new situation is not going to change anything in our position regarding that."

As for the racing...

"We still have some things that we already have prepared and that we will implement in the next couple of races," she reveals in terms of the remainder of 2016."

And 2017?

"Now that we have a stable basis it is much easier to plan and eventually move back to where we belong: in the midfield. But also to be very honest: finishing in P11 is no option!"

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Mugmug, 12/08/2016 14:56

"I have always had a lot of respect for Peter Sauber and was a fan of Sauber in F1 and Sports cars. Ever since Monisha K. took over the team things have gone downhill and the team has lost a lot of respect and a lot of fans. Lawyers, financial institutions, have no place in F1 and have caused it to deteriorate to the point I don't even go out of my way to watch races anymore. I firmly believe CVC has caused the decline of F1, soon, they will take the money and run. "

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2. Posted by itc, 11/08/2016 23:13

"Let us not forget that this team owner managed to sign and take money off of 3 or 4 or even 5 drivers on pay to drive contracts in 2015; at least one of whom won his legal case against the team"

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3. Posted by nonickname, 11/08/2016 13:51

"Well we have a clear picture of her ambitions for the team...aim for the middle and you will end up somewhere."

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