F1 Academy head Susie Wolff has rejected any suggestion of wrongdoing after motor sport’s governing body announced an investigation into potential conflict of interest believed to centre on her and husband Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team boss.
Without naming any individuals or teams, the FIA said it was “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 Formula One Management (FOM) personnel.
“The FIA compliance department is looking into the matter,” the governing body said in a press release on Tuesday. The spotlight has fallen on Toto Wolff, the high-profile and outspoken boss of the Mercedes team, and his wife Susie.
She is managing director of the F1 Academy, the women’s competition administered by FOM, the company that holds the sport’s commercial rights.
Toto Wolff’s team “wholly rejected” suggestions of wrongdoing and Susie Wolff issued a strongly worded statement on social media defending herself. She wrote on Instagram that she was “deeply insulted but sadly unsurprised” by the claims.
She called the allegations “rooted in intimidatory and misogynistic behaviour, and focused on my marital status rather than my abilities”. Throughout my career in motor sport I have encountered and overcome numerous obstacles and I refuse to let these baseless allegations overshadow my dedication and passion for F1 Academy,” she said.
She added: “In the strongest possible terms, I reject these allegations.” Toto Wolff’s team similarly rejected the claims, which initially surfaced in an F1 publication.
“We note the generic statement from the FIA this evening, which responds to unsubstantiated allegations from a single media outlet,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
“The team has received no communication from the FIA compliance department on this topic. We wholly reject the allegation in the statement and associated media coverage, which wrongly impinges on the integrity and compliance of our team principal.