Yesterday, the FIA revealed that it was investigating an alleged conflict of interest regarding the transfer of confidential information between a team principal and an FOM employee. The FIA did not mention names explicitly, although it is clear they were looking into Toto and Susie Wolff – with the latter being CEO of the F1 Academy series.
The FIA said yesterday that its investigation into so-called compliance was motivated by major media speculation, in particular reference to an article in BusinessF1 magazine.
Meanwhile, FIA sources claimed that some teams complained, although nobody was specified.
Very recently, in sensational fashion, this latest piece of information was thrown into doubt – with all nine remaining teams declaring that they were NOT involved in any complaints about it.
Statement from 9 teams:
“We can confirm that we have not made any complaints to the FIA regarding the allegation of information of a confidential nature being passed between an F1 team director and a member of FOM staff.
“We are delighted and proud to support the F1 Academy and its CEO through our commitment to sponsor a participant in our liveries from next season.”
It was clearly a shared and coordinated document to show support for F1 Academy manager Susie Wolff.
It also clearly leaves the FIA more isolated – especially concerning Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
Moreover, this shows unequivocally what side the teams are on.
At this point, the FIA must answer: Who do these complaints come from?
It is no mystery that the first name mentioned was Christian Horner, given his continuous controversies with Toto Wolff.
However, the Red Bull team principal was the first to correct the record when speaking to Sky Sports UK.
“Red Bull has been the team most involved with the F1 Academy since its inception – to the point that between the two Red Bull-owned teams, we will enter three cars.
“We worked closely with Susie, who did a great job in the F1 Academy. I think we were quite surprised by the statement that came out last night. But it was certainly not instigated, requested or initiated by Red Bull.”
For their part, Mercedes and Susie Wolff have already responded harshly to the accusations, requesting clarity and transparency on the reasons triggering the investigation.
At the moment, Mercedes has not received any clarification.
Author: Giuliano Duchessa
Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang