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Mercedes rejects “unsubstantiated allegations” against Wolff

Mercedes has rejected allegations of any wrongdoing by its Formula 1 team principal Toto Wolff, and knew nothing about an FIA investigation until it was released in the media.

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG, with Mohammed bin Sulayem, President, FIA

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG, with Mohammed bin Sulayem, President, FIA

Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The FIA announced on Tuesday that its compliance department was investigating a potential conflict of interest over the passing of information between a member of FOM personnel and a team principal. 

"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,” said the statement. “The FIA Compliance Department is looking into the matter.” 

It is understood that this was in reference to a report suggesting that team principals had complained to the FIA about there being a potential conflict of interest between Toto Wolff, the boss of the Mercedes team, and wife Susie over the transfer of information. 

But Mercedes has robustly defended Wolff over what it says are “unsubstantiated allegations” and revealed that it has had no communication with the governing body about the matter. 

“We note the generic statement from the FIA this evening, which responds to unsubstantiated allegations from a single media outlet, and the off-record briefing which has linked it to the Team Principal of Mercedes-AMG F1,” it said. 

“The Team has received no communication from the FIA Compliance Department on this topic and it was highly surprising to learn of the investigation through a media statement. 

“We wholly reject the allegation in the statement and associated media coverage, which wrongly impinges on the integrity and compliance of our Team Principal.” 

George Russell, Mercedes-AMG, with Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG, engineers

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes-AMG, with Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG, engineers

Mercedes said it would like a swift resolution to the matter involving the FIA and full transparency on the investigation. 

It added: “As a matter of course, we invite full, prompt, and transparent correspondence from the FIA Compliance Department regarding this investigation and its contents.” 

The FIA Compliance Department has been called into action already this season when Lance Stroll was investigated after the Qatar Grand Prix for pushing his trainer after an early exit from qualifying. 

The Canadian subsequently received a formal warning and apologised for his behaviour.

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