A source has told PlanetF1.com that multiple team principals complained to the FIA regarding similar allegations recently made in the media about Toto Wolff.
The FIA announced on Tuesday night that they were looking into allegations “of information of a confidential nature being passed to an F1 team principal from a member of FOM personnel” following a report from BusinessF1 magazine that focused on Wolff and his wife Susie.
The report claimed that Susie, in her capacity as F1 managing director shared information with her husband – something she has since denied – and that Wolff let something slip during a recent team principal meeting.
Team principal complaints not just media report behind FIA Toto Wolff investigation
The credibility of BusinessF1 magazine has often been questioned, leading many to wonder why the FIA had decided to launch such an investigation but a source familiar with the situation has now told PlanetF1.com that, while the media report was part of the reason the FIA opened the investigation, it was also initiated due to multiple team principals raising complaints.
All teams have since moved to release identical social media statements, firmly denying this.
The same source also alleges that both F1 and Mercedes were sent legal letters from the FIA’s compliance officers at the same time the media statement was sent out. Mercedes, however, has denied this claim and says they have received no such letter.
After the investigation was announced, Mercedes released a statement strongly denying the “unsubstantiated allegations from a single media outlet.”
It read: “We note the generic statement from the FIA this evening, which responds to unsubstantiated allegations from a single media outlet, and the off-record briefing which has linked it to the team principal of Mercedes-AMG F1.
“The team has received no communication from the FIA Compliance Department on this topic and it was highly surprising to learn of the investigation through a media statement.
“We wholly reject the allegation in the statement and associated media coverage, which wrongly impinges on the integrity and compliance of our team principal [Toto Wolff].
“As a matter of course, we invite full, prompt, and transparent correspondence from the FIA Compliance Department regarding this investigation and its contents.”
A statement from FOM, provided to PlanetF1.com, also denied any such incident: “We note the public statement made by the FIA this evening that was not shared with us in advance.
“We have complete confidence that the allegations are wrong, and we have robust processes and procedures that ensure the segregation of information and responsibilities in the event of any potential conflict of interest.
“We are confident that no member of our team has made any unauthorised disclosure to a team principal and would caution anyone against making imprudent and serious allegations without substance.”