Susie Wolff, the head of F1's academy for female racing drivers, refuted allegations of a conflict of interest involving her and husband Toto Wolff, Mercedes F1's team principal and co-owner, dismissing the claims in the "strongest possible terms." Business F1 magazine reported concerns from rival team bosses about the Wolffs potentially sharing confidential information from their respective roles within their teams. The FIA announced an investigation into these allegations, prompting strong reactions from Susie Wolff, who called the claims "intimidatory and misogynistic."
In a social media statement, Susie Wolff voiced her dismay, expressing feeling "deeply insulted" but unfortunately not surprised by the accusations, emphasizing the focus on her marital status rather than her capabilities. She described her commitment to the F1 Academy and her dedication to overcoming challenges as a woman in motorsport, reaffirming her resolve to pave the way for future generations despite baseless allegations.
Amid this controversy, the FIA's compliance unit initiated an inquiry, responding to media speculation regarding the alleged transmission of confidential information from an F1 personnel member to a team principal. Mercedes, F1, and Susie Wolff strongly rebuffed the accusations, expressing disappointment with the FIA's handling of the matter and demanding transparent correspondence regarding the investigation's details.
The tensions between F1 and the FIA have escalated recently, coinciding with a series of disputes and controversies. These included FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem stepping back from direct F1 involvement following various conflicts and controversies since his election in December 2021, such as addressing allegations of making misogynistic remarks and instances where F1 teams perceived his actions as detrimental to the sport. These incidents have strained relations between F1 and the FIA, with the former considering a potential break from the latter if issues persist.