No sponsor pressure over Sauber drivers - Kaltenborn

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Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn says sponsor considerations do not play a part in team orders following the Monaco Grand Prix collision.

Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson both bring substantial sponsorship to Sauber, which has been struggling financially for a number of seasons. The pair have been closely matched on track and Nasr was told to move over for Ericsson during the Monaco Grand Prix but declined to do so, with the pair eventually colliding.

With sponsors aligned to each driver, when asked by F1i if it makes such a situation more challenging to manage Kaltenborn insists the sponsors back the team to deal with the drivers fairly.

“I think it’s not that difficult from that perspective because they are team sponsors and they also understand that the team has to do it," Kaltenborn said. "Obviously they might have preferences but at the end of the day they sponsor the team and they have enough trust and faith in the team that you treat your drivers the same way.

“Once their driver can be in the same situation on the right side or the wrong side, so I don’t think that’s an issue over there so much.”

And Kaltenborn says she wants the drivers to stay competitive with each other but feels the need to reiterate the team must come first.

“I don’t know if it’s been building up because we have a good atmosphere in the team from that perspective. We know from the past how much competition there can be between the drivers and some drivers say their biggest and toughest competitor is actually they team-mate and not the drivers outside.

“A certain competition is healthy but what matters at the end of the day is we are here as a team sport and the team’s position.”

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