Kolles or Vasseur to take over Sauber helm (3rd Update)

Frederic Vasseur
Frederic Vasseur

UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today with this announcement from Sauber: We are delighted to announce the appointment of Frederic Vasseur as Managing Director & CEO of Sauber Motorsport AG, as well as Team Principal of the Sauber F1 Team, effective July 17, 2017.

Pascal Picci, Chairman:
“Frederic Vasseur’s long and successful career in top level international motorsport speaks for itself, and we are thrilled to welcome him to Sauber."

Frederic Vasseur:
“I’m very proud to be joining Sauber Motorsport AG, and wish to thank the company’s shareholders for their trust in me. I’ve been impressed by the facilities in Hinwil and by the talent and ambition of the workforce, and I very much look forward to complementing the team with my experience and determination and drive all people in the right direction in everything they do: I am convinced that all together we will achieve ambitious targets. I cannot wait to start working with our drivers, engineers and all the staff. I look forward to contributing to the next important phase in the development of the team."

07/05/17

(GMM) Sauber is set to announce Frederic Vasseur as its new team boss.

Just prior to the recent grand prix in Baku, the Swiss team's new owners suddenly ousted boss Monisha Kaltenborn.

And Vasseur, who this year has been running his Formula 2 team after leaving Renault at the end of last season, subsequently had talks with Sauber chairman Pascal Picci at Hinwil.

"We are in discussions with Vasseur, but nothing is official," Picci told Blick newspaper. "There are other candidates."

But Luis Vasconcelos, a respected F1 correspondent, now says the deal between Sauber and Frenchman Vasseur is done.

"Sauber is expected to make it public during the Austrian grand prix weekend," he wrote in the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat.

06/24/17 (GMM) Former Renault team boss Frederic Vasseur has emerged as the most likely candidate to run Sauber.

The Swiss team suddenly split with Monisha Kaltenborn following a disagreement with new owners, and it had been rumored Colin Kolles was on pole to replace her.

Acting boss Beat Zehnder said in Baku: "We are talking to some candidates and I hope we can announce it sooner rather than later."

But the long-time Sauber team manager said he is not in the running.

"No. I cannot run a company of 350 people, and I would not burden my wife with that either," he smiled to Blick newspaper.

Graeme Lowdon was mentioned as another potential candidate, but Le Matin newspaper said Frenchman Vasseur is actually the frontrunner.

Indeed, Sauber owner Pascal Picci told the Swiss newspaper: "We are in discussions with Vasseur, but nothing is official. There are other candidates."

However, Blick newspaper said Picci and Vasseur met at Sauber's Hinwil headquarters on Thursday.

Colin Kolles
Colin Kolles

06/22/17 (GMM) Former Force India boss Colin Kolles is tipped to succeed the ousted Monisha Kaltenborn at the top of the Swiss team Sauber.

On Wednesday, amid reports of a dispute about Sauber's current drivers, it emerged that F1's first female chief Kaltenborn is leaving the Hinwil team immediately.

Pascal Picci, the new Sauber owner following last year's rescue buyout, confirmed that the Indian-Austrian is leaving "due to diverging views of the future of the company".

"Her successor will be announced shortly," a team statement added.

Picci also said media reports in Der Spiegel and elsewhere that he and Kaltenborn disagreed over the preferential treatment of Swedish driver Marcus Ericsson are "patently untrue".

According to sources, what is true is that Kaltenborn has not made the trip to Baku this week.

"Technical director Jorg Zander and I were commissioned by the owner of the team to take over operational management here in Azerbaijan," team manager Beat Zehnder told the Swiss newspaper Blick.

But Bild newspaper said that solution is "temporary".

"Colin Kolles is the successor," the German newspaper claimed.

Kolles, an ally of Bernie Ecclestone and also reportedly close to the Ericsson-linked Sauber backer Tetra Laval, ran the Jordan, Force India and HRT teams in the past.

More recently, he has headed his own Le Mans team.

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