July 12, 2024

Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur has characterized the recent FIA investigation into Formula 1 power couple Susie and Toto Wolff as “embarrassing.” The FIA initiated an ethics probe into a potential conflict of interest between Susie, the head of F1 Academy, and Toto, the team principal and co-owner of the Mercedes F1 team. The investigation was prompted by concerns raised in Business F1 magazine about the sharing of confidential information between the couple.

However, within a day of the investigation’s announcement, the other nine F1 teams released coordinated statements supporting the Wolffs, challenging the need for a formal inquiry. Subsequently, the FIA halted the investigation, prompting Toto Wolff to mention an “active legal exchange” and a desire for “full transparency” from the governing body.

FIA should have handled 'quite embarrassing' Toto Wolff saga differently -  Vasseur : PlanetF1

Vasseur expressed concern about the apparent discord between the FIA and other F1 stakeholders, stating that the entire saga is embarrassing for the sport. He suggested that caution should be exercised when discussing individuals in such situations. Vasseur also remarked that the FIA could have used the 24 hours between the initial and subsequent announcements to avoid drawing unfavorable conclusions.

Against the backdrop of strained relations between the FIA and F1’s commercial rights holder, Liberty Media, Vasseur remains optimistic about the sport’s overall health. As negotiations for a new Concorde Agreement near completion, Vasseur highlighted the unity among the teams in supporting the Wolffs. He emphasized that the sport is in a better position than it was five years ago, citing increased sustainability due to the cost cap, prize fund distribution, and overall business stability. While acknowledging ongoing discussions on technical regulations, governance, and prize fund distribution, Vasseur believes these aspects will have a marginal impact on the sport and its business.

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