Sauber hire ex-Renault man Frederic Vasseur as new team boss
Ex-Renault boss and junior series veteran replaces axed Kaltenborn; But will Sauber still have Honda engines in 2018?
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 01/08/17 9:52pm
Former Renault chief Frederic Vasseur is joining Sauber as their new team principal.
Vasseur, who spent just a single season at Renault in 2016, had quickly emerged as the leading contender after Sauber's owners parted company with Monisha Kaltenborn ahead of the Azerbaijan GP last month.
Frenchman Vasseur has vast experience in the junior categories and worked with a number of the grid's leading drivers. He will start work at Sauber on July 17, the day after this weekend's British GP.
"I'm very proud to be joining Sauber Motorsport AG, and wish to thank the company's shareholders for their trust in me," said Vasseur, who also takes on the roles of managing director and chief executive.
"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."
Sauber chairman Pascal Picci added: "Frederic Vasseur's long and successful career in top level international motorsport speaks for itself, and we are thrilled to welcome him to Sauber."
The confirmation of Vasseur's arrival comes a day after speculation suggested Sauber's engine deal with Honda for 2018 has hit the rocks.
According to Germany's AutoBild, the partnership now looks unlikely to be formalised, which would leave Sauber needing to extend their current long-time partnership with Ferrari or do a deal with Renault or Mercedes.
The future of Honda's works partnership with McLaren is already in growing doubt.