Toto Wolff hits out at ‘personal attack’ as FIA criticism continues – F1 news round-up

Henry Valantine
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff at the British Grand Prix. Silverstone, July 2023. F1 news

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

Wednesday’s F1 news brings together a mixture of stories from around the sport, with Toto Wolff back in the headlines.

The Mercedes team boss hit out at the FIA for their brief investigation last week into an unnamed team boss and FOM employee, with events eventually leading to Mercedes engaging in legal conversations with the sport’s governing body.

All that and much more, with additional reporting from Thomas Maher and Sam Cooper, in Wednesday’s F1 news headlines.

Toto Wolff hits back at ‘absurd accusation’

With the FIA’s brief investigation into supposed conflict of interest launched last week, with a culmination of events seeing all nine of Mercedes’ rivals co-ordinate a statement to say they did not issue a complaint against them, with Mercedes and Susie Wolff expressing their surprise and denial of any allegations at the earliest opportunity.

Mercedes confirmed they were in “active legal exchange” with the FIA, over the implication that Toto and Susie Wolff had committed wrongdoing, following a questionable report from BusinessF1 magazine.

Speaking publicly for the first time since this development, with wife and F1 Academy managing director Susie having already voiced her distaste at what has happened, Toto Wolff decried what he felt was a “shocking” turn of events.

“An absurd accusation was created out of nothing. It was a personal attack in which a red line was crossed,” Wolff told Sport Bild.

“After 10 years as team boss, I’m already pretty hardened and hardly surprising, but this story was shocking. If I’m caught in the crossfire, that’s not a problem for me at all. I’ve developed a thick skin and can take it. But when people go after my family, that’s a different level.”

Read more: Toto Wolff lashes out at FIA over ‘personal attack’ with ‘red line’ crossed

JYS exclusive: Three-time World Champion lavishes praise on Red Bull

Sir Jackie Stewart was full of praise for both Max Verstappen and Red Bull when in conversation with at the recent Autosport Awards, hailing Christian Horner’s influence behind the scenes in particular.

Though when he asked as to where Verstappen sits in the pantheon of all-time Formula 1 greats, one early name from the sport still stands above the rest from his point of view.

“Mr. Fangio for me will never be beaten,” he said.

“He was for me, the greatest man of all time. Great dignity, great style. I had the privilege of carrying him to his last resting place but we’ll see what happens in the future.”

Read more: Jackie Stewart highlights ‘capital of motorsport’ presence behind Max Verstappen success

Details of F1 2026 cars emerge and ‘disaster scenario’ concerns eased

The 2026 regulation reset might feel a long way away, but work is continuing apace to finalise what the next generation of Formula 1 cars will look like.

FIA single seater director Nikolas Tombazis confirmed his hopes to make the next generation of cars slightly shorter, thinner and up to 50kg lighter.

Wheels could shrink from their current 18-inch rims, all to try and make the cars more ‘nimble’, but with power units changing to make battery power more prominent, Max Verstappen voiced his worries months ago that drivers would have to downshift on straights to regenerate power.

This won’t be the case come 2026, according to Tombazis.

“These were comments that were probably a bit premature, because we hadn’t completed the work yet,” Tombazis said, as quoted by

“We never believed that was a disaster scenario, because we knew that there were solutions.

“We believe that the combination of low drag on the cars, with the way that energy can be recovered or deployed, achieves a speed profile of these cars which is very similar to the current cars.

“So the cars won’t be reaching the top speed in the middle of the straight and then degrading or anything like that. That’s not going to be the case.

“There’s some tweaks on the energy side of the engine that will achieve the correct characteristics.”

Read more: F1 2026 ‘disaster scenario’ fears addressed with DRS changes on the way

Fernando Alonso details ‘unique’ relationship with Lance Stroll

Fernando Alonso has arrived at Aston Martin as both a team-mate and partial mentor to Lance Stroll, with the long-term aim of setting the Canadian up to get him to lead the team in the long term.

Having had the better of the in-team battle all season long, the two-time World Champion has detailed the extremely open dynamic he and Stroll share at Aston Martin – and he admitted it’s something he’s not had before in his career.

“It has been very good,” Alonso told media including

“I think we have a very unique relationship, I think, in any team that I was working for and in any team that I know in the current paddock.

“We talk a lot, we are in contact every week on the telephone, at the factory, at the races and we try to make sure that we are all in the same direction and we share many things.”

Read more: Fernando Alonso reveals all on ‘very unique’ dynamic with Lance Stroll at Aston Martin

Where are they now? The last 10 F1 team bosses to leave their roles

A bit of light relief to finish, and while the turnover of drivers has dropped in recent years, with a vanishingly rare rookie-less season to come in 2024, the number of team principals to take on new roles has gone up of late.

Christian Horner and Toto Wolff are now the longest-serving team bosses in their current roles, following the retirement of Franz Tost at the end of the 2023 season.

Regarding those to have left the paddock recently, we have taken a look to see what they are up to now.

Read more: Where are they now? The last 10 F1 team bosses to leave their roles