Lewis Hamilton has slammed the FIA terming its actions as “unacceptable” and has stated that the governing body’s conduct needs to change following a controversial investigation into the Wolffs.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton expressed his dissatisfaction with the FIA claiming that some leaders are ‘holding us back’ as he supported F1 Academy managing director Susie Wolff and his husband Toto Wolff.
Hamilton was speaking at a press conference ahead of the FIA Gala which took place in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan on Friday evening.
This comes after Mercedes officially announced that they are currently in the process of an active legal exchange with the Formula One Management about an alleged conflict of interest involving a member of Formula 1 management and an F1 team boss.
However, in a dramatic twist of events the FIA confirmed on Thursday that no one is the subject of an active investigation sparking even more controversy.
Although the FIA did not identify any of the individuals involved, it was presumed that they were referring to Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and his wife Susie Wolff, who is the head of the F1 Academy.
Consequently, both Mercedes and Susie Wolff immediately issued statements refuting all of the allegations, prompting the team to seek legal options.
Additionally, Hamilton whose philanthropic work focuses on diversity and inclusivity in the F1 environment said to the media that Wolff’s treatment was unacceptable ahead of the FIA prize-giving gala in Baku.
“It has been a challenging week, I think, a disappointing week, really, to see the governing body of our sport has [sought] to question the integrity of one of the most incredible female leaders we’ve ever had in our sport, [in] Susie Wolff, without questioning, without any evidence,” said Hamilton.
“Then just saying ‘sorry’ at the end, that’s just unacceptable. We’ve got lot of great people in the sport that are doing amazing work, there is a constant fight to really improve diversity and inclusion within the industry.
“But it seems there are certain individuals within the leadership of the FIA that every time we make a step forward they’re trying to pull us back and that has to change.
“This is a global sport and we have a such an incredible opportunity and a natural responsibility to be leader of change, travelling to all countries around the world.
“We have a responsibly to make sure we are pushing the right direction. I do want to acknowledge there are a lot of people doing great work but we need to make some change to make sure we are pushing in the right direction.”
Additionally, Hamilton questioned the choice of Azerbaijan as the location for the season-ending celebration.
“Whilst I really like Baku, it’s really a beautiful place, [there are] questions in my mind of whether the FIA is really actually thinking about sustainability because so many people flew out here and the FIA is in Paris and it just would have been easier to stay there,” the seven-time world champion added.