F1 Academy Managing director Susie Wolff has refuted claims regarding conflict of interest with her husband Toto Wolff who is the Mercedes team boss.
As managing director of the FOM-run F1 Academy, Susie Wolff’s name has been openly linked with the claims made by a BusinessF1 media report that she prompted FIA’s decision to have their Compliance Department look into allegations regarding conflict of interest.
According to the report, rival Formula 1 team bosses have concerns that Toto Wolff has access to information through his wife that he is not sharing with them and is unlawfully using it for his own gain.
The FIA acknowledged that they were aware of this “media speculation.”
The FIA’s statement said: “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 (Formula One Management) personnel. The FIA compliance department is looking in to the matter.”
Susie Wolff, who was appointed to the all-female F1 academy in March reports directly to F1 president and chief executive Stefano Domenicali.
Wolff said in a post on social media: “I am deeply insulted but sadly unsurprised by the public allegations that have been made this evening.
“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.”
“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.”
Mercedes issued a statement shortly after the FIA statement, confirming that Toto Wolff had been mentioned in the FIA’s own briefing on the subject and mentioning the general response from the FIA to the same.
The Brackley outfit claims they have not heard from the FIA Compliance Department yet and were shocked to read about the investigation in the FIA statement.
“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.
“As a matter of course, we invite full, prompt, and transparent correspondence from the FIA compliance department regarding this investigation and its contents.”
Regarding FOM, an official statement provided to Racetrackmasters.com elucidated that they were not informed of the FIA investigation decision prior to its official release. Additionally, the statement refuted the notion that information was conveyed from a FOM staff member to a team boss.
“We note the public statement made by the FIA this evening that was not shared with us in advance,” the statement read.
“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.”