‘Bullet out of the gun’ – Toto Wolff’s defiant message to FIA after ‘damaging’ investigation

Sam Cooper
Toto Wolff speaks into a microphone.

Toto Wolff has demanded more from the FIA in the wake of their investigation.

Toto Wolff has issued a warning to the FIA that the “bullet went out of the gun” after they opened an investigation into his and wife Susie’s relationship within F1.

The FIA opened a short-lived investigation after claims were made by the publication BusinessF1, that the Wolffs had been sharing sensitive information learned from their respective roles. The investigation was closed just two days later, with the FIA claiming full confidence in the robustness of FOM’s own enforcement procedures.

With the Wolffs exonerated, the matter hasn’t quite been closed yet, with Mercedes suggesting they would contemplate legal action – and now Wolff has said F1 deserves more.

Toto Wolff demands more from FIA

Speaking for the first time publicly since the affair, Wolff told Gazzetta dello Sport that “the bullet went out of the gun and cannot come back in.”

“We have millions of people watching us, we have to be examples for what we say and do,” he said.

“The investigation – opened and closed in two days – has done a lot of damage, and it’s not what you expect from the F1 world in general.

“If we want to make the sport more and more professional, we have to try to bring transparency where there is none and set standards of the highest possible level. My position is this.

“I can’t speak for Susie but she is a fighter, she has a steely determination. This is not the first time she has faced difficulties, and she will go all the way in every court of law.

“If someone types Susie Wolff on the web today, the investigation comes up as the first news item: the bullet went out of the gun and cannot come back in.”

It has not been a good month for the sporting body with a number of key departures also coming shortly after the investigation affair, including the departure of technical director Tim Goss and sporting director Steve Nielsen – the latter has been replaced by Tim Malyon.

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On the FIA, Wolff said the sport needed “stability” if it was going to flourish.

“I think the FIA has many important tasks as an institution, the first of which is to govern with ethics, transparency and integrity,” he said.

“This includes how you run the sport together with F1 and the teams, but also how the rules are set and controlled.

“In the end, we all have to share the same goal: to make F1 even bigger in the world. For that to happen you need stability. It is not a good thing when people of experience and quality leave. Steve Nielsen, who knows the sport from every angle, left, and that’s a bad blow.

“Then Tim Goss left, and in this way, Nicolas Tombazis loses a very good lieutenant. And still others have resigned.

“As teams, we cannot do anything about it: it is not up to us to decide how people manage their staff and their structure. But when all of a sudden such good people leave an organisation you create a vacuum, it’s clear.

“You have to ask yourself why so many have left and have done so now.”

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