Lewis Hamilton praises ‘brave’ Susie Wolff as criminal case against FIA launched

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton and Susie Wolff.

Lewis Hamilton has praised Susie Wolff for taking a stand against the FIA.

Lewis Hamilton has said he is “incredibly proud” of Susie Wolff, after the F1 Academy managing director confirmed she has filed a criminal complaint against the FIA.

The sport’s governing body had announced an investigation into an unnamed team boss back in December after an unsubstantiated and swiftly debunked media report insinuated Wolff and her husband, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, were sharing confidential information as part of their roles, which was firmly denied from the outset.

Lewis Hamilton ‘incredibly proud’ of Susie Wolff for FIA legal action

Wolff confirmed on Wednesday that she has already filed a criminal complaint in the French legal system against motorsport’s governing body, calling for “transparency and accountability” on the matter, as well as the need to “stand up, call out improper behaviour and make sure people are held to account.”

She is taking on this case as a private citizen rather than in an official capacity, with Mercedes driver Hamilton giving her his full support.

Alongside that, the seven-time World Champion believes in the need for greater transparency from the FIA as a whole, and Wolff’s case needs to help change the “terrible narrative” in the male-dominated world of Formula 1 as it stands.

“Well, firstly, I’m incredibly proud of Susie,” Hamilton told media in Melbourne when asked about Wolff’s legal action.

“I think she’s so brave and she stands for such great values. She’s such a leader, and in a world where often people are silenced, for her to be standing up sends such a great message.

“I love that she’s taken it out of this world, fighting it from the outside, because there is a real lack of accountability here within this sport, within the FIA, things that are happening behind closed doors, there is no transparency.

“There is really no accountability and we need that; I think the fans need that. How can you trust the sport and what is happening here if you don’t have that?

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“So hopefully, this stand that she’s taken now will create change, will have a positive impact, and especially for women.

“It is still a male-dominated sport, and we’re living in a time where the message is, ‘if you file a complaint, you will be fired’, and that is a terrible narrative to be projecting to the world.

“So, especially when we’re talking about inclusivity here in the sport, we need to make sure that we are staying true to the core values here.”

Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate, George Russell, joined his call for greater transparency and accountability in the sport, and the visibility of Wolff’s case beyond the sporting world takes it beyond the ‘bubble’ within which Formula 1 operates.

“I think there’s so much going on in the world of Formula 1 at the moment, and I think often we are in our own little bubble,” he said.

“We need to see in everything, accountability and transparency and, with that case in particular, that’s no longer in the world of Formula 1, that’s in the real world – and nothing further to really say there.

“But for all of us, I think Lewis said it in the last race, I think [it’s] a really important moment for Formula 1 right now, and you just want to see the right outcomes, the truth and the transparency within any case that is presented.”

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