- FIA investigating reports of confidentiality breach
- F1, Mercedes and Susie Wolff refute claims
F1 Academy managing director Susie Wolff has rejected allegations that she and her husband, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, have shared confidential information.
A report in BusinessF1 magazine said there is concern among other Formula One team principals that Toto Wolff has had access to information, via his wife, which is not being shared with them that he is using to his benefit.
In her role at the all-female F1 Academy, to which she was appointed in March, Susie Wolff reports directly to Formula One president and chief executive Stefano Domenicali.
The International Automobile Federation (FIA) released a statement to select media on Tuesday, which 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 [Formula One Management] personnel. The FIA compliance department is looking in to the matter.’
Susie Wolff said in a post on social media: ‘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 behaviour, and focused on my marital status rather than my abilities.
‘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.’
She continued: ‘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.’
The Mercedes Formula One team released a statement which said it ‘wholly rejected’ what had been alleged.
‘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,’ it read.
‘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.”
A statement from Formula One said: ‘We note the public statement made by the FIA this evening that was not shared with us in advance.
‘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.’