India-born Monisha becomes first female F1 team principal

Last Updated : 11 October 2012, 09:51 IST
Last Updated : 11 October 2012, 09:51 IST

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Indian-born Monisha Kaltenborn has become the first woman Team Principal in Formula One after taking over the job in the fourth oldest F1 team in the paddock -- Sauber.

Monisha took over after Peter Sauber decided to step back from his daily assignment of the team that he founded in 1991.

Sauber had already stated he did not want to run the team after turning 70 next year. However, he will continue in his role as President of the Sauber Group's board of directors.

Team Sauber started in F1 in 1991 with drivers JJ Lehto and Karl Wendlinger driving cars powered by engines built by Ilmor but rebadged as Saubers.
The team is currently sixth in the constructors' championship, 20 points behind Mercedes with five races to go.

Monisha aspired to be an astronaut as a kid. At the age of eight, her family moved to Vienna, where her uncle was employed in the International Atomic Energy Agency.
She secured her bachelor's degree in law from the University of Vienna in 1995 and went on to get a Master's degree inInternational Business Law from the London School of Economics in 1996.

Monisha got her first job in Stuttgart in Germany and also worked for the United Nations and a few law firms in Germany and Austria.

Monisha originally joined Sauber in 2000 as head of its legal department and has been CEO since January 2010.

"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," she said.

In recent years, Sauber F1 team has finished fourth in the World Championship in 2001 and fifth in 2002 despite having a much smaller budget than many of its rivals.
The team was third on the podium last weekend in Suzuka with Japan driver Kamui Kobayashi.

Speaking about the change, Peter Sauber said: "We decided a long time ago that Monisha would take over from me, but we left the timing open."

"Now is a good time for both of us, so this is the right moment to pass on the baton. 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."

Published 11 October 2012, 07:40 IST

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