New details have emerged over the termination of Sauber’s Monisha Kaltenborn – could her insistence on a Honda-Sauber partnership doomed her?
Monisha Kaltenborn’s abrupt exit from Formula One’s Sauber left a hefty amount of speculation in her wake. Without the former team principal divulging any information over the conditions of her departure, the F1 community was left with naught to do but speculate over the reasons why. Initially, many around the paddock believed that the points of contention between her and the Sauber higher-ups stemmed from a disagreement over driver prioritization. However, new information has altered the playing field.
— Marcus Ericsson (@Ericsson_Marcus) July 12, 2017
New information has trickled in from an unnamed source that is close to the team, saying that a large factor in the departure of Kaltenborn was her inclination to adopt Honda engines for the 2018 season. Kaltenborn’s decision over the Honda partnership was instantly met with large amounts of criticism and scrutiny, given how woefully unsuccessful the Japanese manufacturer has been since it returned to Formula One to collaborate with their old friends McLaren.
Yet, despite the three years of data showing that perhaps throwing yourself onto a sinking ship is not the best course of action, Kaltenborn remained committed to the decision. Keep in mind that this decision comes hot on the heels of a lackluster 2017 season where Sauber has struggled to find the necessary power to mount a challenge–a possible symptom of Kaltenborn’s decision to run old development-frozen Ferrari engines.
Although there is no point of concrete information to point to and illuminate as the sole reason of Kaltenborn’s departure, there does seem to a be a running theme of mismanagement. Unfortunately, there is unlikely to be a sole reason given from Sauber management as the entire operation seems to be running a fairly dark operation in terms of media engagement since announcing Kaltenborn’s departure.
Whatever may have occurred at the outfit in the midst of splitting ways with Monisha, there is a growing sense that things aren’t quite peachy. Sauber finds itself in a precarious spot, being as low as it is in the ranks means that they can’t be very picky with their options, yet whatever solution they choose must be the one that will guarantee an improvement in the forthcoming season over all past ones.
— Sauber F1 Team (@SauberF1Team) July 12, 2017
Despite the blows that Sauber has taken over the past few weeks, the same has been incurred on their would-be partners Honda. Unless Honda somehow miraculously find themselves with a McLaren contract for the 2018 season, they’ll be left without a team to supply. Which, at this point, could be a good thing. Some time away from the sport to refine their engine would certainly do all parties well.