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Susie Wolff rejects conflict of interest allegations after FIA announces investigation

By Sammy Mncwabe, CNN

(CNN) — F1 Academy managing director Susie Wolff has rejected conflict of interest allegations between her and husband, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, after the FIA announced an investigation on Tuesday.

This comes after the FIA, motorsport’s governing body, issued a statement saying: “The FIA is aware of media speculation centred on the allegation of information of a confidential nature being passed to an F1 team principal from a member of FOM [Formula One Management] personnel. The FIA Compliance Department is looking into the matter.”

While the FIA statement did not name the individuals it was investigating, and noted that it was not making the allegations, media reports identified them as the Wolffs.

According to Business F1 magazine, some unnamed F1 team principals believe that the Mercedes boss “now has access to confidential information that they do not, via his wife, which is not being shared with them and Wolff is using to his own benefit.”

“I am deeply insulted but sadly unsurprised by the public allegations that have been made this evening,” Susie wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“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.

“In the strongest possible terms, I reject these allegations,” the Scottish former professional racing driver added.

Mercedes also issued out a statement on Tuesday denying the allegations, claiming to have learned about the investigation through a media statement.

“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,” Mercedes said.

“We wholly reject the allegation in the statement and associated media coverage, which wrongly impinges on the integrity and compliance of our Team Principal,” the F1 team added.

All nine other F1 teams released an identically-worded statement on Wednesday denying that they had made a complaint.

“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 [F1] staff.

“We are pleased and proud to support F1 Academy and its managing director through our commitment to sponsor an entrant in our liveries from next season.”

Liberty Media, which owns F1, told CNN via email that the FIA statement had not been shared with them in advance.

“We note the public statement made by the FIA this evening that was not shared with us in advance. We have complete confidence that the allegations are wrong, and we have robust processes and procedures that ensure the segregation of information and responsibilities in the event of any potential conflict of interest.”

Historically, Formula One and the FIA have had a fractious relationship.

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