Former Renault F1 boss Frederic Vasseur has emerged as the favorite to replace the departed Monisha Kaltenborn as team principal of Sauber.
Vasseur, who is not with his ART F2 team in Baku this weekend, was spotted at Sauber’s base in Hinwil on Thursday.
The Frenchman is widely respected in the sport, having built up ART and achieved huge success in GP2/F2, GP3 and F3. He also ran a DTM program with Mercedes in 2015 and 2016. Last year he delegated the management of his teams and came to F1 for the first time to run the operational side of the Renault team in Enstone, but a clash of personalities with Cyril Abiteboul led to his departure at the end of the year.
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If Vasseur is confirmed, he will again run the operational side of the team. He doesn’t have the legal, political and commercial background of Kaltenborn, so it’s likely that the team will bring in someone else to cover that side of the job.
Vasseur would also be very acceptable to Sauber’s 2018 engine partner Honda. His current F2 line-up includes Honda’s protégé Nobuharu Matsushita, who could be a future Sauber driver.