Sauber Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson says he was surprised by CEO Monisha Kaltenborn's "sudden" exit from the team, but has faith in the direction that the management is taking the Swiss operation in.

Kaltenborn parted company with Sauber on Wednesday after five years as team principal and seven as CEO, exiting over differing views for the future of the company.

Kaltenborn's departure came as a surprise to the F1 paddock, including Ericsson, who said everything escalated in a couple of days.

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

"It's quite a new thing for me as a driver as well. First of all I have a lot to thank Monisha [Kaltenborn] for and I think us as a team have, because she's been here a long time and done a lot of good things for the team.

"For myself, she was the one that gave me the chance to come here after my year in Caterham. So that's very important.

"We have to trust the owners with what they are doing. They have a plan for the future. I haven't spoken personally with Monisha, I just got the information that she's leaving. I don't know the details yet or the reasoning for it. I guess we will find out later."

When asked if the news was a complete surprise, Ericsson said: "I would say so yes."

Reports in the wake of Kaltenborn's departure suggested that she was unhappy with the team's management wanting to prioritise Ericsson over team-mate Pascal Wehrlein, but the Swede took issue to this.

"I think it was a lot in the press yesterday with stories about this unfair advantage to one driver," Ericsson said.

"For me personally when I read it, it was upsetting, because I think it was very disrespectful. First of all it's completely false and untrue.

"Secondly it's very disrespectful towards every single member of the team because we have guys here that work day and night, both here on track and back at the factory to try and get this team successful again and with both drivers driving the cars.

"Then you read things like this which becomes the facts apparently and then everyone writes it and it's a fact that they gave unfair advantages. I think it's a shame because it's completely not true and it's disrespectful to everyone at Sauber."



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