Monisha Kaltenborn says she had no choice but to drop Simona de Silvestro from any future driving duties with the Sauber Formula 1 team, because of the financial risk involved
Swiss racer de Silvestro joined Sauber as an affiliated driver earlier this year, and completed two tests in a two-year old car as she worked towards securing an F1 superlicence.
But AUTOSPORT revealed this week that de Silvestro's driving opportunities have been suspended because of a contractual dispute between the team and her management, relating to the financing of her deal.
De Silvestro will remain an affiliated driver, but Sauber team principal Kaltenborn said she could not afford to put her own personal support of de Silvestro's career ahead of the financial health of the team.
"For us, it was from the beginning just about wanting to help her, and I have particularly done that from day one when she came to our offices in Hinwil and explained what she wanted to do," Kaltenborn said.
"We were very open about the risks to her, she accepted it and she's so motivated, so determined, which is very impressive.
"I think she is probably the only one [female] out there right now - looking at her racing career so far - who could make that step [to an F1 race seat].
"But you have to have your whole package together, and what you agree to you have to also deliver.
"That's the world out there. You can personally like something, and want to support something as much as you can, but I have my responsibilities as well."
Kaltenborn said her team was still working out how to define de Silvestro's future affiliate role with the team, but said she would like to support the Swiss driver if possible.
"We had to make a certain call; we did that, and I still would like to support her whatever way I can," Kaltenborn added.
"For that reason I said 'let's give it time and wait and see what we can do'.
"I don't know if we can do something for her, but I think it's worthwhile to take that time out and at least evaluate different options.
"I think a lot depends on her management, where they stand and what their plans are."