Susie Wolff criticises FIA and vows to uncover who ‘instigated a campaign’ against her

Formula 1

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F1 Academy managing director Susie Wolff has criticised the FIA’s handling of an investigation she was implicated in, claiming she is the victim of a campaign of misinformation.

The sport’s governing body announced on Tuesday it was investigating whether confidential information had been shared between a Formula 1 team principal and a member of Formula One Management. Reports elsewhere, often citing the same unbylined magazine article, identified Wolff and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, her husband, as the individuals in question.

After all Mercedes’ rival teams issued statements saying they had raised no concerns with the FIA, the governing body confirmed its investigation had concluded with no action being taken. However the F1 Academy chief, who previously called the accusations “baseless” and “rooted in intimidatory and misogynistic behaviour”, is unhappy with how the FIA has handled the case and revealed she has had no direct contact with them about it.

“When I saw the statement issued by the FIA yesterday evening, my first reaction was: ‘Is that it?'” said Wolff in a social media post.

“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.”

She suggested the investigation may have been triggered in an attempt to discredit her husband.

“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.”

Wolff expressed her gratitude to the nine F1 teams who expressed their support after the news of the FIA’s investigation emerged, and said those responsible for the how the investigation was handled and made public should be held accountable.

“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 intimidated 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.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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27 comments on “Susie Wolff criticises FIA and vows to uncover who ‘instigated a campaign’ against her”

  1. Tbh, if I were married to a team boss, the only company I’d avoid working for is the sport’s governing body because it invites allegations like this.

    1. My mistake – I read it that she was working for the FIA, not FOM.

      1. Coventry Climax
        8th December 2023, 14:50

        Does that make a difference to the ethics of it?

  2. Ha ha ha….
    I am a woman, you cannot investigate me for leaking information to my husband. I am a celestial being and although I have access to all the negotiations with the different teams and my husband is a team director, I cannot be investigated.

    1. There is not evidence anything was leaked in the first place. Perhaps someone wanting her position created the rumour hoping an “anonymous” F1 team head report would give some credibility to the allegation. The fact the matter was in a tabloid before even any party knew about it shows it was a planned work.

    2. Here you are again grandstanding. Go back to Planet F1

  3. Entitled much?

    1. Wrong much…

  4. Fair enough.
    If someone had wrongly accused me of corruption then I would want to find out who they were as well.
    So that we could discuss the issue….

    1. If someone had wrongly accused me of corruption then I would want to find out who they were as well.
      So that we could discuss the issue….

      You can but hope that Suzy gets her wish and someone has a small list of suspects that leaks in a karmic way.

  5. This is Ben S again, i bet this is about Andretti and the FIA getting their own back with these vacuous games of one up man’s ship. No wonder a breakaway championship is being discussed with Liberty as the leaders and the FIA will be a lame duck.

  6. They said, he said, she said.. I still see an integrity issue. FIFA like organisations this FIA and FOM. Competition distortion situations. Integrity is not on their to do list.

  7. Coventry Climax
    8th December 2023, 15:04

    She complains about.. transparency? And accountability?
    None of these organisation have a particularly strong historical bond with these concepts, so good luck ms. Wolff.

    Part of the answers are probably available through your husband, behind “robust processes and procedures that ensure the segregation of information and responsibilities in the event of any potential conflict of interest.” (FOM statement.)

    And should you come across what the deal was between the FiA and Ferrari, over their engine and sensor manipulation foul play, would you care to be transparent to us about that too, please? We’re still waiting on that one.

    Or do we have to settle with all of you “having the best interest of the sport at heart”?

  8. The FIA has a responsibility to its member organizations. So when there is discussion in the media that hints at disreputable actions going on in the top of motorsport, it’s their duty to stop the rumour mill from getting out of control, have a quick investigation, and be swift in their response. They did all that, and less admirably but still understandable, no doubt got a good chuckle out of Toto Wolff being involved.

    The Wolffs put themselves in this position. Taking these jobs wasn’t a great idea. Just like Budkowski going to Renault wasn’t great, or Mekies going to Ferrari wasn’t great, or Todt’s son being heavily involved in driver management wasn’t great. Just go do something else.

    1. I’m sorry, but that’s ridiculous. Unless it can be proved that either has done something wrong, they have done nothing wrong. Some people are capable of keeping their personal and professional lives separate. Lambasting someone because it is possible for wrongdoing to occur is making a baseless attack on their character.

      1. It’s extremely naive to expect people who are married to keep secrets from each other. The legal system recognizes this and does not force people to testify against their partner, as it would be inhuman to do so, because then people have no one they can be safely open and honest to.

        1. I deal with confidential information fairly regularly on my job. It’s not difficult to avoid telling my wife about it. Even if it’s succeeding I need to talk to her about, you can always find a way to do so without breaking confidentiality. You can talk around the subject without revealing details.

          If you can’t manage that, you have no business being in a job which involves highly-confidential information. Just because you’re married to someone doesn’t negate your work responsibilities.

          If the Wolfs have broken confidentiality, I would support them having the book thrown at them. However, as things stand, there is no evidence that they have, and saying “they put themselves in this position” is an unwarranted attack on their character and their ability to do their jobs.

      2. Danger Mouse lol stealing my profile, they couldn’t handle me on PF1.

        1. so they kicked a troll and now we are the victims….

          1. No they couldn’t handle me being right, who said I got kicked? Its planet Max. Who are you calling troll? You don’t me. Another keyboard warrior

      3. I’m sure you have the same energy when you accuse others of cheating to cope with the failures of the team and driver you worship and idolize.

  9. Not very surprised but fairly dismayed by a lot of the other comments on this post. For a fabricated story that the FIA have been forced to rapidly backtrack on, this should not be getting speculative credibility for having anything behind it.

    Even if you are determined to believe that Susie is somehow an inherently corrupt vassal for her husband’s interests (which is exactly how a lot of this is coming across) then there’s an easy piece of logic to be applied here. If there was credibility to these claims, teams absolutely WOULD have complained to the FIA. The completely united agreement that not a single one of them had shows how spurious this is.

    It tells on organisations like the FIA and on motorsport fandom as a whole that there was so much eagerness to cast aspersions on Susie based on a story with no basis, published by a frequently-sued-for-libel rag. Credible sources, except if it suits what you already think…

    1. +1000 well said Hazel!

    2. It’s not suprising, really, since Toto has and had so many conflicts of interest. So it’s logical that people are concerned that he may have abused those. Especially since he very openly tried to manipulate the championship by coercing Russell into not fighting for position against Mercedes drivers, while Toto was George’s manager and it was well known that Russell was being considered to replace Bottas. So we already know that Toto doesn’t have moral standards that keep him from abusing his conflicts of interest.

      It was also extremely dumb to say that in the media, rather than behind closed doors, but that was probably the result of Toto’s well known anger issues (just ask all the poor, innocent headsets that he abused). It is likely that if he openly tried to manipulate the championship that publicly one time due to his anger issues, he also did similarly naughty things behind closed doors at other times and we’ve seen just the tip of the ice berg.

      Your argument that the only reason why we can have concerns is if we believe that Susie is some kind of villain is rather absurd and seems to be driven by your politics, where treating women as actual human beings with flaws is somehow hatred of women. The idea that a husband and wife would do things for each other, and share the secrets they know, is hardly some extreme accusation that requires villainy, but is the default way in which couples tend to act.

  10. I liked the internet before 2012. It was a lot more sane.

  11. I don’t see what’s “fabricated”? The FIA opened an investigation into some type of leaking. And then the FIA closed the investigation immediately. My question would be, did the FIA find out who actually leaked the information during their quick investigation, and since it wasn’t the Wolffs, the investigation was closed because the FIA doesn’t want to out the leaker and the team?

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