TOTO WOLFF has demanded an explanation from the FIA after launching a “legal exchange” with F1’s governing body following accusations of a conflict of interest.
Mercedes boss Wolff and his wife Susie, had been subjected to unprecedented scrutiny following an article citing that rival F1 teams were upset that the latter was working as Managing Director of F1 Academy.
Toto Wolff has launched a ‘legal exchange’Credit: Alamy
The FIA responded by publicly announcing they were investigating the unsubstantiated claim.
However, it has since been quickly disproved following a display of unity from F1 teams, who released statements saying they had no issue with either’s positions.
While the FIA have now performed a U-turn on their decision and since closed the case, both Toto and Susie Wolff are angry their integrity has been called into question and want an explanation.
A statement from Wolff, who is team principal, CEO and co-owner of the Mercedes F1 team said: “We understand that there is significant media interest in the events of this week.
“We are currently in active legal exchange with the FIA. We await full transparency about what took place and why, and have expressly reserved all legal rights.
“Therefore we ask for your understanding that we will not be commenting officially for now, but we will certainly address the matter in due course.”
His statement came after his wife, a former racing driver and Formula E team boss herself, had posted on social media responding to the FIA’s short statement that they had ceased their investigation.
She wrote: “When I saw the statement issued by the FIA yesterday evening, my first reaction was: ‘Is that it?’.
“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 One 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.”
The bombshell dropped ahead of Friday night’s FIA lavish gala in Baku, Azerbaijan, where Merc’s Lewis Hamilton picked up his award for finishing third in the drivers’ championship.
He skipped the award ceremony in 2021 after losing the title to Max Verstappen, earning a fine from the FIA.