The FIA has dropped its inquiry into a possible conflict of interest involving Toto and Susie Wolff, but the latter intends on holding the governing body accountable for its “misleading” and “unfounded” communication.
On Tuesday evening, the FIA announced that its Compliance Department had launched an investigation into allegations of sensitive information being shared between an F1 team principal and a member of Formula One Management (FOM).
This inquiry stemmed from a questionable media report suggesting that Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff made a remark during a meeting of team principals that was based on confidential material only accessible to FOM personnel.
The report further claimed that Wolff's wife Susie, who serves as the managing director of the all-female racing series F1 Academys, may have had greater access to this information due to her position.
Mercedes, Susie Wolff and Formula 1 – who had not been informed by the FIA of its investigation – immediately denounced the allegations as well as the governing body’s inquiry.
On Wednesday, F1 teams presented a united front through a coordinated release of a statement in which they denied lodging a complaint with the FIA and offered their support to Susie Wolff.
On Thursday, in a swift about-face, the FIA declared that no inquiry targeting any individual in F1 was ongoing, and that in any case, “appropriate protective measures are in place to mitigate any potential conflicts”, the institution adding that “FOM’s compliance management system is robust enough to prevent any unauthorised disclosure of confidential information”.
Unimpressed, Susie Wolff took to social media on Friday to denounce “an episode that has so far taken place without transparency or accountability”, insisting that she intends to uncover who “instigated this campaign and misled the media”.
“My first reaction was: ‘Is that it?’” Wolff posted on X.
“For two days, insinuations have been made about my integrity in public and through background briefings, but nobody from the FIA has spoken to me directly.
“I might have been collateral damage in an unsuccessful attack on somebody else, or the target of a failed attempt to discredit me personally, but I have worked too hard to have my reputation called into question by an unfounded press release.
“We have come a long way as a sport. I was extremely thankful for the unified support of the Formula 1 teams. I have worked with so many passionate women and men at F1 and the FIA, who have the very best interests of our sport at heart.
“However, this episode has so far taken place without transparency or accountability. I have received online abuse about my work and my family. I will not allow myself to be intimated and intend to follow up until I have found out who has instigated this campaign and misled the media.
“What happened this week is simply not good enough. As a sport, we must demand, and we deserve, better.”