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F1 says allegations of Wolff wrongdoing are “wrong”

Formula 1 has said any suggestions of a conflict of interest between F1 Academy managing director Susie Wolff and her husband Toto Wolff are “wrong.”

Susie Wolff and Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes

Susie Wolff and Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes

Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

The FIA announced on Tuesday night that its Compliance Department had opened an investigation into potential breaches of the governing body's regulations.

While not naming Susie and Toto Wolff directly, a statement declared that an F1 team principal and member of FOM personnel were to be investigated following a media report. 

"The FIA is aware of media speculation centred on the allegation of information of a confidential nature being passed to an F1 team principal from a member of FOM personnel. The FIA Compliance Department is looking into the matter,” said the statement. 

This action had been prompted by a report in BusinessF1 magazine alleging that team principals were unhappy that Mercedes boss Toto Wolff had been privy to secret information from FOM. 

With it understood that complaints had been made to the FIA, president Mohammed Ben Sulayem took the decision to take the matter further. 

But any suggestions of wrongdoing by Wolff and FOM has been robustly denied by F1, which runs the F1 Academy series. 

In a strongly worded statement, which made reference to the fact that it had not been notified of the investigation prior to the media statement, it defended both Wolff and its own reputation. 

Stefano Domenicali, CEO, Formula 1, Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG, Mohammed bin Sulayem, President, FIA

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Stefano Domenicali, CEO, Formula 1, Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG, Mohammed bin Sulayem, President, FIA

“We note the public statement made by the FIA this evening that was not shared with us in advance,” said F1. 

“We have complete confidence that the allegations are wrong, and we have robust processes and procedures that ensure the segregation of information and responsibilities in the event of any potential conflict of interest.  

“We are confident that no member of our team has made any unauthorised disclosure to a Team Principal and would caution anyone against making imprudent and serious allegations without substance.” 

Susie Wolff was appointed managing director of the F1 Academy in March this year having most recently served as team principal and latterly CEO for the Venturi Formula E squad between 2018 and 2022. 

Founder of the Dare To Be Different initiative, a programme conceived to boost female participation in motorsport, the Scot has since been a keynote speaker at major conferences such as the 2023 Pendulum Summit in Dublin. 

In her capacity as managing director of F1 Academy, Wolff reports directly to F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.

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