Following a bizarre statement by the FIA on Tuesday evening, Mercedes have officially responded, following accusations that team principal Toto Wolff has been receiving “confidential” information from his wife, Susie Wolff.
It was recently speculated by one publication that team principals had become concerned that Wolff seemingly knew information before it was revealed in a meeting, raising alarm bells.
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has already reportedly spoken to one team principal about the allegations, with the Mercedes boss believed to be receiving information from Susie, who is F1 Academy’s managing director.
Now, without informing Formula 1, the governing body has released a statement that they are investigating the allegations which have been created purely through “media speculation”.
“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 personnel,” a statement from the governing body read.
“The FIA Compliance Department is looking in to the matter.”
It’s not just F1 who had no idea that the FIA were going to release a statement this serious, with Mercedes having also received “no communication” beforehand.
The Silver Arrows “wholly reject the allegation” which is targeted at them, despite the FIA not naming Mercedes or Wolff specifically.
In an official statement, the Brackley-based side confirmed that they are open to a “prompt” investigation by the FIA with “transparent correspondence”.
“We note the generic statement from the FIA this evening, which responds to unsubstantiated allegations from a single media outlet, and the off-record briefing which has linked it to the Team Principal of Mercedes-AMG F1,” stated Mercedes.
“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.
“We wholly reject the allegation in the statement and associated media coverage, which wrongly impinges on the integrity and compliance of our Team Principal.
“As a matter of course, we invite full, prompt, and transparent correspondence from the FIA Compliance Department regarding this investigation and its contents.”
It’s clear that this is yet another complete breakdown in communication between the FIA and F1, with the question now being what’s going to happen next?
One concern amongst many is that the FIA have released such a serious statement purely based off social media gossip, rather than actual facts.
F1 and Mercedes will both be keen to find out why they weren’t informed about the statement from the FIA prior to it being released, with both parties having only found out through social media.