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Kaltenborn makes F1 history

October 11, 2012 -- Updated 1554 GMT (2354 HKT)
India's Monisha Kaltenborn became Formula One's first female CEO in 2010.
India's Monisha Kaltenborn became Formula One's first female CEO in 2010.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • India's Monisha Kaltenborn becomes Formula One's first female team principal
  • Kaltenborn will replace owner Peter Sauber at the Sauber Formula One team
  • The 41-year-old has been CEO of the Swiss-owned team since 2010
  • Sauber are sixth in the constructors' standings heading into the Korean GP

(CNN) -- Monisha Kaltenborn has continued her rise within Formula One after becoming the sport's first female team principal.

Kaltenborn has been CEO of Swiss-based team Sauber since 2010 and while continuing in that role, she will also replace team owner Peter Sauber in the role of team principal with immediate effect.

Sauber have made no secret that India's Kaltenborn would take over from Sauber, with the Swiss saying he had no desire to be trackside when he turned 70.

And wiith his 69th birthday just two days away, the decision has been made for Kaltenborn to make the transition from F1's first female CEO to its first female team principal.

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"Naturally I'm very aware of the major responsibility I have for Peter Sauber's racing team," Kaltenborn said in a Sauber statement.

"He founded the team over 40 years ago, and in the spring it will be 20 years since Sauber lined up for its debut Formula One grand prix. We are the fourth-oldest team in Formula One.

"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."

Sauber expressed his confidence in Kaltenborn's ability to lead the team, explaining the time had arrived for him to step aside.

"We decided a long time ago that Monisha would take over from me but we left the timing open," he said. "Now is a good time for both of us, so this is the right moment to pass on the baton.

"After all, there have been a number of races I've been unable to attend -- most recently the Japanese Grand Prix, where the team put in an excellent performance.

"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."

In a CNN interview in June, Kaltenborn revealed she had never foreseen a career in motorsport.

"I was never focused about getting into Formula One and taking up this career," she said. "A lot of things just happened by coincidence.

"And then what you have to do then is see if you want to make that choice to see if you want to take the opportunity or not and see where it takes you to."

She also spoke of her ambitions for Sauber, saying: "My desires within F1 are with this team.

"I have so many desires that I would like to achieve with this team that I don't even know if my time would last that long so I am pretty happy with the challenges that I have within the Sauber team."

Following Kamui Kobayashi's third-place finish at his home grand prix in Japan last weekend, Sauber are currently sixth in the constructors' standings with five races of the 2012 season remaining.

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