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FIA ends investigation into Toto and Susie Wolff

The FIA has backed down from its highly controversial investigation into a potential conflict of interest between Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff and F1 Academy managing director Susie Wolff.

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG

Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

On Tuesday evening, the governing body announced that its Compliance Department was looking into an allegation of confidential information passed between an F1 team principal and a member of Formula One Management.

This was in relation to a dubious media report that in a meeting between team principals, Toto Wolff supposedly made a comment based on material that was only available to FOM personnel, to which his spouse Susie Wolff could theoretically have greater access given her role at the top of the all-female race series.

The allegation was denounced by Mercedes, Susie Wolff - who suggested alternative motives were at play, saying the matter was rooted "in intimidatory and misogynistic behaviour" - and F1, whose relationship with the FIA, particularly under the current administration, is strained.

An F1 statement read: "We note the public statement made by the FIA this evening that was not shared with us in advance.

"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

Photo by: Erik Junius

Susie Wolff

Then, in a coordinated and almost unprecedented display of paddock unity, particularly around Susie Wolff, the other nine teams released near-identical statements that read: "We can confirm that we have not made any complaint to the FIA regarding the allegation of information of a confidential nature being passed between an F1 team principal and a member of FOM staff.

"We are pleased and proud to support F1 Academy and its managing director through our commitment to sponsor an entrant in our liveries from next season."

PLUS: How the FIA/Wolff case could shape F1’s political landscape

With all teams denying they had lodged a complaint, it piled extreme pressure on the FIA to disclose precisely why it had decided to investigate the Wolffs.

But on Thursday evening, a day ahead of the FIA Awards Gala, the governing body revealed that it was satisfied no conflict of interest could have taken place so the matter was dropped.

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A statement read: "Following a review of Formula One Management's F1 Code of Conduct and F1 Conflict of Interest Policy and confirmation that appropriate protective measures are in place to mitigate any potential conflicts, the FIA is satisfied that FOM's compliance management system is robust enough to prevent any unauthorized disclosure of confidential information.

"The FIA can confirm that there is no ongoing investigation in terms of ethical or disciplinary inquiries involving any individual.

"As the regulator, the FIA has a duty to maintain the integrity of global motorsport. The FIA reaffirms its commitment to integrity and fairness."

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