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Susie Wolff reveals she filed criminal complaint over FIA’s short-lived conflict of interest inquiry

Susie Wolff reveals she filed criminal complaint over FIA's short-lived conflict of interest inquiry

The FIA’s inquiry into an alleged conflict of interest between Susie and Toto Wolff lasted two days in December and was not started by a complaint from any of the other nine teams in Formula 1. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)

Susie Wolff said Wednesday that she had filed a criminal complaint over the FIA's brief conflict of interest investigation in December.

Wolff, the director of the F1 Academy women’s series, is married to Mercedes team Principal Toto Wolff. In December, the FIA launched an inquiry following a magazine report that some in F1 believed the Wolffs’ marriage and their business roles presented a conflict of interest. The FIA said that it was looking into an “allegation of information of a confidential nature being passed to an FI team principal from a member of [Formula 1 Management] personnel.”

The FIA announced that it had dropped the inquiry just two days after it began. In its statement, the FIA said that it was “satisfied” in F1’s protocols.

On Wednesday, Susie Wolff revealed that she felt the matter was not over.

“I can confirm that I personally filed a criminal complaint in the French courts on the 4th of March in relation to the statements made about me by the FIA last December,” Wolff wrote.

“There has still not been any transparency of accountability in relation to the conduct of the FIA and its personal in this matter.

“I feel more than ever it is important to stand up, call out improper behaviour and make sure people are held to account.

“Whilst some may think silence absolves them from responsibility — it does not.”

The source of the complaint has been a point of curiosity since the inquiry was launched. The nine other F1 teams all issued statements saying they were not the source of the complaint.

“We have a big rivalry on track, but we haven’t raised any official complaint about either Susie, or Toto or Mercedes to the FIA,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said on Sky Sports in December. “We, like others, were quite surprised by the FIA statement, but it certainly wasn’t instigated or required or set off by Red Bull.”

As soon as the inquiry was launched, Mercedes and Toto Wolff pushed back against it. Susie Wolff said she was “deeply insulted.” The Wolffs have been married since 2011.

Susie Wolff is a former Formula development driver and became the first woman to participate in a F1 weekend in over 20 years when she competed in practice sessions at the British Grand Prix and German Grand Prix in 2014. She served as a test and development driver for Williams from 2012-15 before retiring at the end of the 2015 season. She was appointed to lead the F1 Academy in March. F1 Academy started last year as a women’s only racing series supported by each of F1’s 10 teams.

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