July 7, 2017 / 6:05 PM / 2 years ago

Motor racing: Sauber talking to several potential principals

SPIELBERG, Austria (Reuters) - The Sauber Formula One team say they are talking to several potential principals as they seek a replacement for departed boss Monisha Kaltenborn but are under no immediate pressure to make a decision.

Kaltenborn, who was the first woman to run one of the sport’s teams, left two weeks ago after what Swiss-based Sauber called “diverging views of the future of the company” with the owners.

Team manager Beat Zehnder, who oversees day-to-day operations at the track, told reporters at the Austrian Grand Prix on Friday that he did not know when a decision would be made but in the meantime it was business as usual.

“As soon as we have something to 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,” he said.

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

“If we haven’t got a team principal in the next half of the year then it might be a problem,” he said, when asked about development of next year’s car. “But for the moment, everything is running, everything is in order.”

Sauber are due to switch engine partner next season in a new deal with Honda, who have an exclusive deal with McLaren.

“I appreciated Monisha’s start in our collaboration, but this is Sauber and Honda’s collaboration so I don’t think there is any effect that Monisha has gone,” Honda’s F1 head Yusuke Hasegawa told reporters separately.

Kaltenborn joined Sauber in 2000 as part of the legal department and took over as chief executive in 2010.

While the Ferrari-powered team fell on hard times in recent seasons, their financial problems eased when Swiss-based investment company Longbow took over last July. They are ninth of 10 teams.

While Sauber have not given details of any candidates for the job, those mentioned in the media include Frederic Vasseur, who stepped down as Renault principal in January.

Editing by Louise Ireland

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