Sauber has formally confirmed the exit of Formula 1 team principal Monisha Kaltenborn "due to diverging views of the future of the company".

Kaltenborn's links to Sauber date back to 1998, working as a full-time employee since 2000 and as its team principal since 2012.

Reports on Wednesday emerged stating that Kaltenborn had parted company with Sauber ahead of this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with a statement being issued by its chairman of the board, Pascal Picci, late last night.

"Longbow Finance SA regrets to announce that, by mutual consent and due to diverging views of the future of the company, Monisha Kaltenborn will leave her positions with the Sauber Group effective immediately," the statemet read.

"We thank her for many years of strong leadership, great passion for the Sauber F1 Team and wish her the very best for the future.

"Her successor will be announced shortly. In the meantime we wish the team the best of luck in Azerbaijan."

The confirmation of Kaltenborn's departure was the second statement issued by Sauber on Wednesday night. The first came 30 minutes earlier, firing back at reports suggesting that Kaltenborn's exit came as a result of the team's owners prioritising Marcus Ericsson over Pascal Wehrlein within the driver line-up.

"The owners and board of Sauber Motorsport AG take strong exception to speculative and widespread media reports today that our race drivers have not been, and are not being, treated equally," Sauber said.

"This is not only patently untrue, it would be contrary to the team's absolute and longstanding commitment to fair competition.

"These reports, attributed to anonymous 'sources', are highly detrimental to both Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein as well as to the management and all staff of the Sauber F1 Team."

Sauber currently sits ninth in the F1 constructors' championship with four points to its name after seven races in 2017.


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