The FIA has officially closed its investigation into the conduct of Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and F1 Academy head Susie Wolff. The decision is based on the evaluation that Formula 1's compliance measures effectively protect against breaches of confidentiality. This decision is in line with the unified front put out by Mercedes' nine rival teams and comes 48 hours after the FIA announced the probe. The teams vehemently refuted any allegations of lodging complaints against the Wolffs, highlighting the sense of unity prevailing throughout the Formula 1 community, as evidenced by their synchronised social media statements.
“Following a review of Formula One Management’s F1 code of conduct and F1 conflict of interest policy and confirmation that appropriate protective measures are in place to mitigate any potential conflicts, the FIA is satisfied that FOM’s compliance management system is robust enough to prevent any unauthorised disclosure of confidential information,” FIA'’s statement.
F1: What was the Fuss About?
The governing body announced on Tuesday evening that its Compliance Department is conducting an investigation into an allegation of unauthorised communication of private information between a team principal in the F1 and a member of Formula One Management (FOM).
The probe arises from a questionable media story indicating that, during a gathering of team leaders, Toto Wolff made a remark based on information that is only accessible to FOM staff. Susie Wolff, who has a significant position in the all-female race series, might potentially have increased privileges.
Mercedes strongly refuted the accusation, but Susie Wolff proposed different underlying reasons, attributing the issue to "intimidating and discriminatory conduct." The tense relationship between Formula 1 (F1) and the International Automobile Federation (FIA), especially under the present administration, complicates the ongoing scenario.
F1 Teams Units
Subsequently, in a synchronized and remarkably uncommon demonstration of solidarity within the paddock, especially directed towards Susie Wolff, the remaining nine teams issued nearly identical statements, echoing a unified sentiment:
"We can confirm that we have not made any complaint to the FIA regarding the allegation of information of a confidential nature being passed between an F1 team principal and a member of FOM staff. The FIA can confirm that there is no ongoing investigation in terms of ethical or disciplinary inquiries involving any individual. As the regulator, the FIA has a duty to maintain the integrity of global motorsport. The FIA reaffirms its commitment to integrity and fairness."
With each team strongly denying any role in submitting a complaint, the FIA faced significant pressure to clearly explain the reasons for investigating the Wolffs. However, on Thursday evening, only one day before the FIA Awards Gala, the regulatory body announced that it was satisfied that there was no possibility of a conflict of interest occurring, which resulted in the termination of the investigation.