Frederic Vasseur (left) looks on during his time as Renault team principal in 2016. Photo: James Moy Photography/PA Images

PARIS, France - Swiss-owned Formula One outfit Sauber appointed Frenchman Frederic Vasseur to replace Monisha Kaltenborn as their new team principal on Wednesday.

Kaltenborn was the only female team principal in Formula One and left Sauber suddenly in June after differences of opinion with the new owners.

Vasseur himself left Renault under similar circumstances in the winter break and had been tipped to clinch the vacant Sauber post in recent weeks. 

"Fredéric Vasseur's long and successful career in top level international motorsport speaks for itself, and we are thrilled to welcome him to Sauber," said Pascal Picci, the chairman of the team that sits ninth in constructors standings with five points.

"Together we can reach ambitious targets," said Vasseur, who has a reputation as a hard worker unafraid of getting his hands dirty after starting his career as an engineer and working his way up through the ranks.

Having cut his teeth in Formula 3 Vasseur spent ten years working at ART GP with Nicolas Todt whose father is Jean Todt, head of the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

The departure of the 46-year-old Indian-born Austrian Kaltenborn who had been the chief executive of the mid-grid team since 2010, came as a shock to the sport when new owners Longbow Finance effectively sacked her on June 22.

The team is due to switch to Ferrari from Honda engines next year, and Honda are said to have been upset by the move.

Kaltenborn favoured the more effective of her drivers Pascal Wehrlein over Marcus Ericsson, who scored no points this season but is favoured by Longbow.

Vasseur was undaunted by any previous internal squabbles.

"I cannot wait to start working with our drivers, engineers and all the staff. I look forward to contributing to the next important phase in the development of the team," he insisted.

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