Monisha Kaltenborn has become the first female team principal in the history of F1 after Sauber confirmed that she is to replace team owner Peter Sauber as head of the Swiss outfit.

Sauber had insisted that he didn't want to be in charge when he turned 70 next year, but has now taken the decision to relinquish control of the day-to-day running of the team ahead of schedule.

Kaltenborn, who joined the team in 2000 as head of its legal department, has held the role of CEO since January 2010 and was handed a third of the company shares late last year.

"We decided a long time ago that Monisha would take over from me, but we left the timing open," Sauber, who will retain the role of president of the Sauber Group said. "Now is a good time for both of us, so this is the right moment to pass on the baton. After all, 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, and I'm equally certain she will ensure that the values underpinning the company live on. That is very important to me."

Kaltenborn herself said she was delighted with the news of her appointment and insisted she was up to the job now in front of her.

"Naturally I'm very aware of the major responsibility I have for Peter Sauber's racing team," she said. "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 One grand prix. We are the fourth-oldest team in Formula One.

"To build up a project like this and keep it alive in a difficult environment is a tremendous achievement. 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."



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