F1 breakaway rumour tackled as teams unite on Toto Wolff complaints claim – F1 news round-up

Jamie Woodhouse
Mohammed Ben Sulayem and Stefano Domenicali shake hands in Hungary.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem and Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali shake hands.

It has been a busy day in the world of Formula 1, so it is time to bring you up to speed with the latest key headlines.

F1 owner Liberty Media is reportedly giving thought to an FIA breakaway, while a united response has been made to the claim that complaints from multiple team bosses against Toto Wolff contributed to the ongoing FIA Compliance Department investigation.

All this and more, so let’s dive into the action…

Disgruntlement with FIA president to trigger F1 breakaway?

It is safe to say that Formula 1 and governing body the FIA has not been seeing eye to eye in recent times on several topics, the latest flashpoint arriving when the FIA announced an investigation into potential sharing of confidential information between Toto and Susie Wolff, an investigation Formula One Management said they had no prior warning of.

F1 and Mercedes has denied the allegations and according to the BBC’s Andrew Benson, Liberty Media are considering an FIA breakaway over frustration with the actions of FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who they do not want to continue in the role.

However, PlanetF1.com understands this is not the case.

Read more: F1 contemplating FIA breakaway in response to Mohammed Ben Sulayem actions – F1 rumours

Team bosses fuel FIA investigation with Toto Wolff complaints

It was a report from BusinessF1 magazine which first brought attention to this apparent situation with Toto and Susie Wolff, the credibility of the claims open to serious scrutiny.

But it has since been suggested that fellow F1 team principals played a key role in triggering the FIA to investigate.

A source familiar with the situation has now told PlanetF1.com that complaints from multiple team bosses against Toto Wolff did indeed contribute to the FIA taking this course of action.

Read more: Multiple team principals alleged to have complained to FIA regarding Toto Wolff

Teams unite to refute such talk

However, if any team did go to the FIA with a complaint, then not one of them is owning up to it.

In an arguably unprecedented display of unity among the F1 teams, they all posted identical social media statements to firmly deny any involvement in the investigation.

Read more: Teams flock to deny tipping-off FIA as controversial investigation intensifies

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World Motor Sport Council meeting sees F1 2024 changes approved

A meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) convened in Baku on Wednesday to rubber stamp decisions that were recently approved by the F1 Commission over the Abu Dhabi GP race weekend.

The permitting of a ‘cooling scoop’ to be added to the cars in cases of extremely hot weather, as well as a reduction of the pre-race grid assembly length, reverting to 40 minutes, are among the changes.

Read more: New F1 2024 changes approved following latest World Motor Sport Council meeting

Christian Horner tackles Red Bull ‘power struggle’ rumours

It was during F1 2023 that surprise talk emerged of a power struggle at Red Bull involving team principal Christian Horner and senior advisor Helmut Marko, the claim made that Horner was part of a coup looking to oust Marko.

Horner batted away such talk at the time and now in an exclusive interview with PlanetF1.com, said all he can do is laugh at these claims which are “so wide of the mark”.

“Something like that you have to take with a great deal of humour because, I mean, they’re so far wide of the mark,” said Horner.

Read more – Christian Horner exclusive: The suspicion over Red Bull ‘power struggle’ rumours

Toto Wolff urges F1 to go ‘WWE’-style on sprints

The Mercedes boss has made no secret of the fact that F1 Sprints are not his thing, considering himself a “purist”.

But, he can get behind the concept if F1 truly defines sprints as the “stupid race” so we can then get back to the serious stuff on a grand prix Sunday. Reverse grids anyone?

“We talked about reverse grid races,” Wolff told a select group of media, including PlanetF1.com, over the Abu Dhabi GP weekend.

“I can get my head around a reverse grid Sprint race because at least we are really declaring ‘that’s the stupid race’.

“Six times a year, we’re doing something that is really stupid, and everybody knows to differentiate that.

“There will be other winners and different podiums, that’s refreshing. We do WWE on Saturday six times, and then we play Formula 1 24 times on Sunday.”

Read more: Toto Wolff supports ‘WWE’ F1 Sprint tweak for deserved ‘stupid race’ distinction

Read next: Unlikely F1 team solidarity points finger back at precarious FIA position