Mercedes confirms ‘active legal exchange’ following FIA investigation

Mercedes confirms 'active legal exchange' following FIA investigation

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has confirmed that an ‘active legal exchange’ is in the works following recent FIA investigation over conflict of interest.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff confirmed that the Silver Arrows are currently engaged in “active legal exchange” with the FIA after launching an investigation earlier in the week that was later withdrawn.

The controversial statement from the FIA confirmed that their Compliance Department was looking into a possible conflict of interest between a principal of an F1 team and a member of Formula One Management.

This comes after a news outlet claimed that Toto Wolff and his wife, F1 Academy managing director Susie Wolff, were the subject of the investigation after allegations of a conflict of interest and sharing of confidential information between the couple.

Mercedes and Susie Wolff immediately refuted any allegations made against them, while each of the nine F1 teams issued a statement denying any communication to the FIA regarding possible conflicts of interest.

Given the publication’s lack of credibility, Racetrackmasters.com sought to understand why the investigation was conducted. A well-known FIA source informed them that several team principals had also voiced their concerns over conflict of interest between the Wolffs.

Later, all teams issued identical statements refuting this, and the FIA quickly confirmed that the investigation had been discontinued.

However the drama is far from over as Wolff has since confirmed speculations that Mercedes is exploring their legal options with regard to the FIA investigation.

“We understand that there is significant media interest in the events of this week,” Wolff said. “We are currently in active legal exchange with the FIA.

“We await full transparency about what took place and why, and have expressly reserved all legal rights.”

Given that the legal process is currently underway, Mercedes has asked for patience due to the imminent period of silence as the matter will be officially addressed eventually.

“Therefore we ask for your understanding that we will not be commenting officially for now,” he added. “But we will certainly be addressing the matter in due course.”

Susie Wolff responded to the FIA’s announcement that it has terminated investigations on social media after Mercedes made its official statement. She expressed confidence in FOM’s processes to address the controversy.

“When I saw the statement issued by the FIA yesterday, my first reaction was ‘is that it?’,” she wrote. “For two days, insinuations have been made about my integrity in public and through background briefings, but nobody from the FIA spoken to me directly.

“I might have been collateral damage in an unsuccessful attempt on somebody or the target of failed attempt to discredit me personally, but I’ve worked too hard to have my reputation called into question by an unfounded press release.

“We’ve come along way as a sport. I was extremely thankful for the unified support of the Formula 1 teams.

“I’ve worked with so many passionate women and men at F1 and the FIA, who have the very best interests of our sport at heart. However, this episode has so far taken place without transparency or accountability.

“I received online abuse about my work and my family I will not allow myself to be intimidated and intend to follow up until I have found out who has instigated this campaign and misled the media.

“What happened this week is simply not good enough. As a sport, we must demand, and we deserve, better.”

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