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Susie Wolff: Insulting allegations rooted in “intimidatory and misogynistic” behaviour

F1 Academy managing director Susie Wolff says she is “deeply insulted” by unsubstantiated allegations about her, which she believes are rooted in “intimidatory and misogynistic” behaviour.

Susie Wolff on the red carpet

Susie Wolff on the red carpet

Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Wolff has found herself in the spotlight after the FIA issued a statement on Tuesday night saying its compliance department had opened an investigation into a potential conflict of interest between an F1 team principal and a member of FOM personnel. 

It relates to what the governing body says was a suggestion that confidential information had been passed on. 

Although the governing body did not mention any names, it is widely understood that the matter involves Wolff and her husband, Mercedes F1 team boss Toto. 

While F1 and Mercedes both issued strongly worded statements denying allegations, Susie Wolff took to social media to express her dismay at what had unfolded on Tuesday afternoon – as she suggested there were hidden motives at play. 

“I am deeply insulted but sadly unsurprised by the public allegations that have been made this evening,” she wrote. 

“It is disheartening that my integrity is being called into question in such a manner, especially when it seems to be rooted in intimidatory and misogynistic behaviour, and focused on my marital status rather than my abilities. 

“Throughout my career in motorsport, I have encountered and overcome numerous obstacles and I refuse to let these baseless allegations overshadow my dedication and passion for F1 Academy. 

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG, arrives into the paddock with Susie Wolff

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG, arrives into the paddock with Susie Wolff

“As a woman in this sport, I have faced my fair share of challenges but my commitment to breaking down barriers and paving the way for future generations to succeed remains unwavering. 

“In the strongest possible terms, I reject these allegations.” 

Wolff’s reference to misogynistic behaviour comes against the backdrop of FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem having been scrutinised several times over recent months for historical sexist remarks he made on a blog many years ago. 

On an archived version of his old website, Ben Sulayem wrote that he does: “not like women who think they are smarter than men, for they are not in truth.” 

Recently, he spoke to the Press Association and defended his comments. 

“What did I say, if I said it?” he said. “Let’s assume it was [me]. I tell you exactly what it said. It says: ‘I hate when women think they are smarter than us’. But they hate when men think they are smarter than them.

“Did I say we are smarter? No. Did I say they are less smarter? No. For God’s sake, if that is the only thing they have against me, please be my guest, you can do worse than that.” 

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