Wolff claims sexism behind new F1 scandal

"It is disheartening that my integrity is being called into question"

By GMM

6 December 2023 - 08:30
Wolff claims sexism behind new F1 (...)

Toto Wolff’s wife believes sexism is what lies beneath the shocking new Formula 1 investigation into an alleged conflict of interest.

In its December issue, Business F1 magazine claims rival teams believe the fact that Susie Wolff is the new managing director of the F1-run female series F1 Academy means that confidential information is passing between her and Mercedes boss Toto.

The report said suspicions then rose to fever-pitch when Toto Wolff made a slip of the tongue at one recent meeting, with the Austrian demonstrating "uncomfortable" body language once he realised his mistake.

The FIA has now triggered an investigation, revealing that the "compliance department is looking into the matter".

In response, Liberty Media-owned F1 rallied behind Susie Wolff without actually naming her, insisting it has "complete confidence that the allegations are wrong".

Mercedes also hit back.

"We wholly reject the allegation and associated media coverage, which wrongly impinges on the integrity and compliance of our team principal," said the Brackley based team.

"As a matter of course, we invite full, prompt, and transparent correspondence from the FIA compliance department regarding this investigation and its contents."

As for Susie Wolff, a former Williams test driver, she insisted she is "deeply insulted" by the "public allegations", and believes sexism may be at their core.

"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," she said.

Earlier in 2023, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem was accused of "numerous instances" of sexist behaviour and bullying, including against fellow FIA official Shaila-Ann Rao - a former lawyer of Toto Wolff’s.

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