Toto and Susie Wolff under FIA investigation over conflicts of interest

Toto and Susie Wolff under FIA investigation over conflicts of interest

FIA has launched an investigation into possible conflicts of interest in response to allegations that Toto and Susie Wolff may have had unauthorized access to private F1 information.

The Formula 1 governing body has launched an investigation into Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and his wife Susie who is in charge of the F1 Academy following claims of a conflict of interest and allegations that they shared private information with the global series’ commercial rights arm. 

The dramatic turn of events transpired as a result of the FIA’s decision to take action in response to complaints from the Formula 1 team bosses stemming from the couple’s actions.

Toto Wolff is the team principal at Mercedes while Susie is the managing director of the F1 Academy, which is overseen by the commercial rights holders of Formula 1.

It has been reported that there have been concerns that the couple may have a conflict of interest since they have access to information that is not commonly made public through official channels.

A statement from the FIA read: “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.

“The FIA Compliance Department is looking into the matter.”

The investigation was prompted as a result of a BusinessF1 magazine article that claimed that the executives from rival teams expressed doubts concerning Toto and Susie Wolff sharing information they had discussed during private meetings.

According to the report, Susie shared information with her husband while serving as the managing director of Formula 1, a claim she has since refuted and Wolff disclosed something in a recent team principal meeting that triggered the allegations.

The impartiality of BusinessF1 magazine has frequently been called into question as the FIA’s decision to open this kind of investigation was partly prompted by the media report, multiple team principals’ complaints also played a role, according to a source familiar with the matter .

The same source claims that at time the media statement was released, Mercedes and F1 received legal letters from the FIA’s compliance officers. Mercedes, on the other hand, disputes this claim and maintains not to have received any such letter.

Mercedes issued a statement following the launch of the investigation and categorically refuted the baseless claims made by a single media source.

“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.

“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.”

Formula 1 stated that it believes the accusations are false and that it has policies and procedures in place to prevent unprofessional sharing of information.

“We note the public statement made by the FIA this evening that was not shared with us in advance,” a statement from FOM 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.”

Susie Wolff expressed her disappointment and denied any wrongdoing in a statement shared on social media.

“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 behavior, and focused on my marital status rather than my abilities,” Susie Wolff wrote.

Since then, every team has taken the same action and released statements on social media refuting their involvement in the allegations.

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