April 20, 2024

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Susie Wolff files a criminal complaint against the FIA

Susie Wolff files a criminal complaint against the FIA

The managing director of the Formula 1 Driver Academy, who is the wife of Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, found herself at the center of a media storm in December after the FIA ​​announced it was looking into a potential conflict of interest between them.

This came in the wake of a media report indicating that confidential information was shared between the duo, and that the teams had filed a complaint with the FIA. Both of these charges were later vigorously dismissed.

The issue came to light publicly after the FIA ​​issued a statement saying: “The FIA ​​is aware of media speculation centering around an allegation of information of a confidential nature being passed to a Formula One Team Principal from a member of the FOM. FIA Compliance Department “He's looking into it.”

Although Wolff's last name was not mentioned in the statement, it was clear who FIFA was referring to, and their identities were also given to the media.

However, following a backlash over the matter, which included all nine of Mercedes' competitors announcing that they had not complained to the FIA, the governing body quickly backtracked.

Just 48 hours after her initial statement, she said the matter was closed because there was no case to answer and the matters did not even warrant a formal investigation.

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO of Mercedes-AMG, arrives at the track with Susie Wolff

Photography: Carl Bingham / Motorsport pictures

This reversal was not enough for Susie Wolff, in particular, who felt there had already been significant damage to the FIA's reputation when it chose to go public by saying it was assessing the matter.

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“I may have been collateral damage in a failed attack on someone else, or the target of a failed attempt to smear me personally, but I worked too hard to have my reputation smeared,” she wrote on social media at the time. A question through a baseless press release.

There was also curiosity about the source of the original media report that led to the FIA ​​taking this action in the first place, and whether it had come from within the governing body itself.

With no public apology from the FIA ​​over its handling of what happened, Susie Wolff took the next step by going to the French courts in an attempt to get to the bottom of the objections that had been made.

In a social media post issued ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, she said: “I can confirm that I personally filed a criminal complaint in the French courts on March 4 in relation to statements made by the FIA ​​about me last December.

“There is still no transparency or accountability regarding the behavior of the FIA ​​and its employees in this matter.

“I feel more than ever that it is important to stand up and call out inappropriate behavior and make sure people are held accountable.

“While some may think that silence absolves them of responsibility, it does not.”

Fresh conspiracies about the FIA's handling of last December's events were raised earlier this week when the board announced that in such circumstances, it was policy to keep matters behind closed doors.

Amid the FIA's ethics committee and compliance officer looking into a series of recent complaints, including a couple surrounding President Mohammed bin Sulayem who was cleared, it has stated that it is policy not to disclose details publicly.

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Regarding recent events, he said: “At the FIA, inquiries and complaints are received and managed by the Compliance Officer and the Ethics Committee where appropriate.

“Both bodies work independently, ensuring complete confidentiality throughout the process.

“As a result, in general, we cannot confirm receipt of any specific complaint and are unlikely to be able to provide additional comment on complaints we may receive from any party.”

This position will raise new questions about the approach she took in dealing with the Wolf issue.

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