Alpine boss reacts to Ecclestone accusing the FIA of feeding Wolff inside information

Former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone accused FIA lawyer Shaila-Ann Rao of tipping-off Toto Wolff about rule changes.

Porpoising has caused drama both on and off the track, with former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone accusing an FIA lawyer of telling Mercedes boss Toto Wolff inside information.

The rumoured scandal comes following the recent Canadian Grand Prix, where the FIA announced rule changes following on from a technical directive.

The FIA announced that teams could fit a second stay to stabilise the floors, which would hopefully reduce the bouncing.

However, only Mercedes managed to trial the second stay in Canada, with the other teams informing the motorsport governing body that they didn’t have enough time to make the necessary changes.

This has led to many in the paddock believing that Wolff had secret information from the FIA, possibly from new Secretary General for Sport, Shaila-Ann Rao.

Rao previously worked for Wolff as his lawyer and advisor, raising concerns that she “tipped-off” Wolff about the rule changes.

Ecclestone told the Daily Mail that Wolff is playing a “bloody dangerous game”, with the 91-year-old fully convinced that he knew about the incoming changes.

READ: Mercedes reveal if they’re expecting to have race-winning pace at Silverstone

“Toto started all this nonsense about the cars needing to change,” said Ecclestone.

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“She told them about the new directive, obviously. She worked with Toto for two or three years.”

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto also has concerns over how Mercedes managed to trial the second stay, however, the Ferrari boss stated the lawyer “has integrity”.

“It is a concern, no doubt,” Binotto began.

“But I have as well the full trust in the FIA that they will prove that obviously she’s a professional, she’s a lawyer, and she’s got integrity.

“I have confidence for the future that they will prove that my concern is not a concern.”

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer doesn’t believe the rumours Ecclestone is spilling, with the Alpine boss believing that what she is being accused of is impossible.

Szafnauer actually praised Rao, admitting that it’s nice to see someone with “team experience” now involved with the FIA.

“She came from the FIA,” he said.

“The nice thing is she has team experience now as well as FIA experience and that’s always good to have.

“I’m not concerned. She’s a lawyer and she takes an oath to be honest and trustworthy, so there are no issues.”

Szafnauer is expecting the porpoising issue to be discussed at the Technical Advisory Committee, however, as it stands he is unaware of what the next step is on the ongoing matter.

“If it is a safety issue then it goes to the TAC.

“Then it gets proposed to the World Motor Sport Council and it gets voted in. I don’t know what’s going to happen with the porpoising.

“Hopefully, it will be discussed at the TAC,” he added.