F1, Mercedes and Susie Wolff have each released statements tonight in reaction to the news that the FIA is to investigate a possible conflict of interest.
The investigation follows a report in Business F1 magazine in which it is claimed that rival team bosses have expressed concern at the possibility of Susie Wolff, who is employed by F1 as head of its F1 Academy series for women, sharing information involving FOM with her husband in his capacity as Mercedes boss.
Though the FIA statement did not identify who it is investigating, only referring to an “allegation of information of a confidential nature being passed to an F1 team principal from a member of FOM personnel”, all three parties have reacted.
“We have complete confidence that the allegations are wrong,” reads F1’s statement, “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.”
“I am deeply insulted but sadly unsurprised by the public allegations that have been made this evening,” said Susie Wolff in her statement.
“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.”
Finally came the statement from Mercedes.
“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,” it read.
“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.”