Sauber chairman 'disgusted' by orchestrated rumors

ยฉWRI2

Sauber chairman Pascal Picci is fuming over an orchestrated campaign to discredit the Swiss outfit following claims of driver favouritism.

Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn parted ways with Sauber earlier this week, with suggestions that she had fallen out with the team's owners, Longbow Financial, after refusing to support a scheme aimed at favouring Marcus Ericsson over Pascal Wehrlein.

But Picci, the CEO of Longbow Financial, Ericsson's Swedish backers, is enraged and strongly denies any ploy destined to benefit Ericsson.

"I must once again deny the story that there was a difference of opinion about the management of the drivers after someone said that we would like to favour Ericsson," Picci told Motorsport.com's Swiss edition.

"This is a low blow โ€“ like a punch under the belt โ€“ that has made us look bad. It's a negative action โ€“ orchestrated around Marcus and the team in order to demolish us.

"If the Swede got stronger or gets ahead of Pascal in the standings, then many will think and certainly say that this has only happened because he has a better or more competitive car.

"It's an attitude that I find disgusting โ€“ and fuelled by the rumours that someone has been circulating."

Picci also confirmed talks are ongoing ย with Fred Vasseur, a possible candidate among others for the job of team principal at Sauber.

But Sauber's chairman also reiterated his vision of a bright future for the Swiss outfit, regardless of its current management difficulties.

"Hinwil has tremendous potential, and our primary target is to maximise that โ€“ we want to promote the great technology that is still in the factory.

"Many have forgotten about it, but it was BMW who brought both financial investment and cutting-edge technical equipment to Hinwil.

"It is natural and desirable for us to reactivate everything. Sauber will become a rare pearl in the field of automotive technology in Switzerland and internationally."

GALLERY: F1 drivers' wives and girlfriends

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter

LAST CHANCE to enter our ULTIMATE TRACKDAY competition! FREE ENTRY HERE!

WIN the ULTIMATE TRACKDAY by signing up to the FREE F1i.com Newsletter! ENTER NOW!