FIA opens investigation into Toto and Susie Wolff over conflict of interest claims

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and wife Susie, head of the F1 Academy, are the subjects of an FIA investigation over an alleged conflict of interest.

The FIA acted on reported concerns raised by rival team bosses about whether the pair have been sharing information confidential to Formula One Management (FOM).

Since news of the investigation was made public on Tuesday, Susie Wolff, Formula One and Mercedes have issued statements rejecting the allegations.

Susie Wolff is employed by F1 as the managing director of its all-female series F1 Academy and reports directly to F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.

According to a report in Business F1 magazine, rival team bosses have raised concerns about whether information discussed at their private meetings has been passed to FOM executives via the couple.

The report said concerns were escalated when Toto Wolff made a comment at a recent team bosses meeting, which included details several present felt could only have come from FOM.

The FIA released the following statement on Tuesday.

"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 personnel. The FIA Compliance Department is looking in to the matter."

After the FIA announced its investigation, F1 issued its own statement denying the claims.

"We note the public statement made by the FIA this evening that was not shared with us in advance," the F1 statement said. "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."

Susie Wolff said in a statement 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.

"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."

Mercedes issued a statement which read: "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.

"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."