Hamilton deplores FIA’s investigation into Mercedes boss

The seven-time world champion added that it was an “unacceptable situation” and that the FIA had simply contented itself to close the matter by saying “’I’m sorry’ at the end”.

Published : Dec 09, 2023 08:22 IST , Paris - 2 MINS READ

File image of Lewis Hamilton.
File image of Lewis Hamilton. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

File image of Lewis Hamilton. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Mercedes’ star driver Lewis Hamilton on Friday hit out at the conflict of interest probe opened and then closed by motor sport’s governing body, the FIA, into the team’s boss Toto Wolff and his wife Susie.

Speaking at a press conference in Baku, Hamilton condemned a “disappointing week”, in which “the governing body of our sport has sought to question the integrity of one of the most incredible female leaders we ever had in our sport, Susie Wolff, without questioning, without any evidence”.

The seven-time world champion added that it was an “unacceptable situation” and that the FIA had simply contented itself toclose the matterby saying “’I’m sorry’ at the end”.

On Thursday, the FIA announced that it had ended a short-lived investigation into a potential conflict of interest believed to centre on the Wolffs.

ALSO READ | Toto Wolff says lawyers talking to FIA after compliance climbdown

“The FIA can confirm that there is no ongoing investigation in terms of ethical or disciplinary inquiries involving any individual,” said the federation.

The investigation was opened on Tuesday following revelations by Business F1 that team bosses involved in F1 had expressed concerns about whether Toto Wolff and Susie Wolff had been able to exchange information that was supposed to remain confidential.

Susie Wolff is managing director of the F1 Academy, the women’s competition run by FOM, the company which holds the commercial rights to the championship, while her husband Toto is the CEO of Mercedes.

“When I saw the statement issued by the FIA yesterday evening, my first reaction was: ‘Is that it?’... What happened this week is simply not good enough. As a sport, we must demand, and we deserve, better,” Susie Wolff wrote Friday on X, formerly Twitter.

Mercedes’ official X account shared a statement on behalf of its boss, Toto Wolff, the same day: “We are currently in active legal exchange with the FIA. We await full transparency about what took place and why, and have expressly reserved all legal rights.”

On Wednesday evening, the day after the investigation was announced, the nine other teams involved in F1 stated their support of the Wolffs, saying that they had “not made any complaint to the FIA”.

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