Sauber confirmed last night the departure of team principal Monisha Kaltenborn but rejected claims that the reasons were linked to differences over the treatment of its drivers.
In an initial press release which addressed the rumors, and which oddly made no mention of Kaltenborn's departure, Sauber's Chairman of the Board Pascal Picci set the record straight.
"The owners and board of Sauber Motorsport AG take strong exception to speculative and widespread media reports today that our race drivers have not been, and are not being, treated equally.
"This is not only patently untrue, it would be contrary to the team’s absolute and longstanding commitment to fair competition.
"These reports, attributed to anonymous “sources”, are highly detrimental to both Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein as well as to the management and all staff of the Sauber F1 Team".
A second official release then confirmed Kaltenborn's departure from the Swiss outfit, invoking "diverging views".
"Longbow Finance SA regrets to announce that, by mutual consent and due to diverging views of the future of the company, Monisha Kaltenborn will leave her positions with the Sauber Group effective immediately.
"We thank her for many years of strong leadership, great passion for the Sauber F1 Team and wish her the very best for the future.
"Her successor will be announced shortly; in the meantime we wish the team the best of luck in Azerbaijan."
Team manager Beat Zander and technical director Jorg Zander will oversee operations in Baku this weekend while the Hinwill-based outfit searches for Kaltenborn's successor.