Status: 08.12.2023, 10:16 a.m.
By: Lina Krull, Marcel Schwenk
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was suspected of having received confidential information from wife Susie. The FIA has now closed the investigation.
Update from 8 December, 9.30 a.m.: The short-term investigations against Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff and his wife Susie Wolff have ended, according to a statement from the world governing body FIA on Thursday. According to the FIA, there are "no ongoing ethical or disciplinary investigations" that "involve any person."
On Tuesday, following a report by BusinessF1 magazine, the world governing body launched initial investigations into Toto Wolff and the Formula One management, where Wolff's wife Susie is employed as managing director of the women's junior series F1 Academy. The reason: the disclosure of confidential information. Both parties denied the allegations, and the FIA has now drawn a line under the rumours. (LIKR/SID)
First reported on 6 December: Munich – Winter break in Formula 1 as a time of rest and relaxation? For the drivers, perhaps, but not for those responsible at the FIA, the international governing body of the racing series, for the time being.
Formula 1: Did Mercedes boss Toto Wolff receive confidential information from Ms. Susie?
As became public on Tuesday, about two weeks after the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, the FIA has initiated investigations against Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff and his wife Susie.
The reason: According to the magazine BusinessF1, which is said to be not without controversy in the paddock, Wolff had already been aware of information during a meeting with other team bosses that he should not actually have access to.
At the centre of FIA investigations: Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff (left) and his wife Susie, managing director of the F1 Academy. © eu-images / Imago Images
Formula 1: Susie Wolff as managing director of the F1 Academy with access to confidential information?
These could therefore come from Formula One Management (FOM), which is responsible for marketing, among other things. There, Susie Wolff acts as managing director of the Formula 1 Academy, i.e. the Formula 1 for women.
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"I think it's illegal. I think it's highly illegal. There is a massive conflict of interest. That being said, it's extremely unethical," BusinessF1 quotes an unnamed person as saying. Team bosses are said to have shared their concerns with F1 president Mohammed bin Suleyman.
Formula 1: Susie Wolff reacts clearly to allegations and initiated investigation
The investigations of the FIA, which have now been initiated, are causing incomprehension at both Mercedes and FOM. The racing stable "takes note of the FIA's general statement of tonight (Tuesday, editor's note) responding to unsubstantiated allegations made by a single media outlet".
"We strongly reject the allegations in the statement and the associated media coverage that unfairly attacks the integrity and compliance of our team boss," the Mercedes statement continued. FOM expressed a similar view. They are "confident that no member of our team has passed on unauthorized information to a team boss."
A third reaction to the issue came from Susie Wolff herself, who was angry on social media. She was "deeply offended, but unfortunately not surprised". "It is disheartening that my integrity is being questioned in this way. Especially when it seems to be based on intimidating and misogynistic behavior and focuses on my marital status rather than my abilities." (MASC)