All Formula One teams have released identical statements rejecting the allegations regarding making any complaints to the FIA about a potential breach of information between an F1 Team Principal and a member of FOM staff.
The coordinated public statements released on Wednesday by all F1 teams come after the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) announced its Compliance Department had opened an investigation into a potential conflict of interest involving Mercedes Team Principal and CEO Toto Wolff and F1 Academy Managing Director Susie Wolff.
Team statement pic.twitter.com/OS1SQM6UzD
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) December 6, 2023
The FIA announcement made through social media on Tuesday evening reads: “The FIA is aware of media speculation centered 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 Formula One Management (FOM) is the sport’s commercial rights arm.
Shortly after, the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 team addressed the issue, asserting: “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.”
A recent report by the media outlet Business F1 magazine referring to a supposed episode where Toto Wolff allegedly used confidential information from Formula One Management (FOM) in a team principal meeting would have led rival team officials to raise concerns to the FIA about a potential conflict of interest between Toto and his wife Susie, triggering the investigation.
Mercedes added they had “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.”
Furthermore, the Brackle-based team remarked: “We wholly reject the allegation in the statement and associated media coverage, which wrongly impinges on the integrity and compliance of our team principal.”
Meanwhile, Formula 1 outlined: “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 unauthorized disclosure to a team principal and would caution anyone against making imprudent and serious allegations without substance.”
Susie Wolff, Head of F1 Academy, shared a post rejecting the allegations, sharing her feelings as a woman in the sport.
“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 behavior and focused on my marital status rather than my abilities.”
Adding: “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.”