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Sauber duo shocked by Kaltenborn's departure

NEWS STORY
22/06/2017

Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein both admit to being shocked by Monisha Kaltenborn's sudden departure from the team.

Speaking as the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend got underway, and just hours after the Swiss outfit officially confirmed her departure, both drivers admitted their surprise.

"It's all been quite sudden, the last 48 hours," said Ericsson.

"We have to trust the owners that they know what they are doing and that they have a good plan for the future," he added.

"I was quite surprised when I heard this on Tuesday, I didn't expect it," added Wehrlein at a subsequent interview.

"I spoke with Monisha on Tuesday evening," the German revealed, "she called me and she told me about it and of course I was really surprised. She supported me so much and our relationship is or has been really good and will be good in the future as well.

"Monisha was very close to me at one of my toughest times in my career so far when I had my injury," he added, "she helped me a lot there and I am very thankful for that and this is something that I will never forget."

"I haven't spoken to personally with Monisha," admitted Ericsson. "I don't know the details yet or the reasoning for it. I guess I will find out later. I have a lot to thank Monisha for. She was the one who gave me the chance to come here."

However, in the wake of Wednesday's statements from the team, and the order in which they were issued, the team first denying that it had favoured one driver over another and only in the follow-up addressing Kaltenborn's departure that has tongues in the paddock wagging.

The grapevine has it that under the team's new ownership preference was being given to Ericsson, something that Kaltenborn was against.

Naturally, when asked, neither driver was willing to shed further light on the speculation.

"It is completely false and untrue," said Ericsson. "It's very disrespectful towards every single member of the team. We have guys here who work day and night, both here and at the factory, to try and get this team successful again, with both cars and both drivers. For me and Pascal, it's been very clear that it's not the case. We've both been given equal equipment and priorities. It's how it's always been in this team and will always be."

However, when Wehrlein was asked about the rumours he merely replied: "I'm sorry but I will not comment this question."

Asked if he believes he had given his best to the team, he added: "I scored some points, I was twice in Q2 so you know with the tools I have and with the car I have I am trying to extract the maximum. This is my job and this is what I have to do."

While initial talk linked Colin Kolles with the role of team principal at the Hinwil outfit, it now appears that former Renault boss Fred Vasseur and Manor's Dave Ryan are among the frontrunners.

Check out our Thursday gallery from Baku, here.

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1. Posted by oliver, 22/06/2017 21:52

"I think that its more that she is not too sure about the Honda engines. She has had a good success in the past and now afraid that it will all be erased. "

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2. Posted by Chris Roper, 22/06/2017 19:14

"They should give the job to Ron Dennis - He wanted Honda back and Honda are going to go to Sauber and not Mclaren next season - Sauber needs a team principal, Honda needs a champion and Ron Dennis needs a job :)"

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