May 24, 2024

Nine Formula 1 teams have issued statements in support of Susie Wolff, the managing director of the F1 Academy, amidst accusations that she disclosed “confidential” information to her husband, Toto Wolff, the team principal of Mercedes. The FIA acknowledged these allegations in a statement on Tuesday, refraining from explicitly naming Susie Wolff and Toto Wolff and announcing an investigation.

Surprisingly, the FIA’s response was triggered by a single report from Business F1 Magazine and media speculations rather than concrete evidence. The report highlighted team principals complaining to the FIA about Toto Wolff receiving information from his wife, an assertion vehemently denied by all teams.

In response to strong denials from F1, Mercedes, and Susie, the other nine teams issued nearly identical statements confirming they had not filed any complaints with the FIA regarding the alleged transfer of confidential information between an F1 team principal and an FOM staff member. Additionally, they expressed support for the F1 Academy and its managing director through sponsorship commitments for the upcoming season.

FIA ends investigation into Toto and Susie Wolff

The unusual unity among all teams on this matter has put the FIA in an awkward position. F1 and Mercedes criticized the governing body for not informing them directly about the statement, learning about it through social media instead. This raises questions about the FIA’s decision to release a significant statement based solely on one report, contributing to escalating tensions between F1 and the governing body.

In her response, Susie Wolff accused the FIA of questioning her “integrity” but expressed being “unsurprised.” With unanimous backing from all teams, the FIA is likely to face scrutiny and will need to clarify why they issued the statement when every team has denied reporting information transfer.

This incident represents another breakdown in communication between the governing body and the teams, adding to existing tensions at a time when discussions about F1 potentially separating from the FIA are already underway.

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