Red Bull boss and F1 teams react to FIA investigating Mercedes chief Toto Wolff and wife Susie

Christian Horner and every other F1 team have commented publicly after Susie Wolff, Mercedes and Formula One Management denied unsubstantiated conflict of interest allegations

Kieran Jackson
Formula 1 Correspondent
Wednesday 06 December 2023 18:04 GMT
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Christian Horner insists Red Bull had “nothing to do” with allegations levelled against Mercedes chief Toto Wolff and his wife Susie – while every other F1 team have also denied making a complaint.

The FIA are investigating conflict of interest claims after an unsubstantiated media report claimed the Wolffs were sharing information considered confidential from their employers.

Susie – who rejected the claims and labelled the behaviour of those involved as “misogynistic” – works closely with F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali, while Toto is CEO of the F1 Mercedes team. The FIA, F1’s governing body, announced on Tuesday that its compliance unit were looking into the allegations.

Horner told Sky Sports News on Wednesday: "We have a big rivalry (with Mercedes) on track but we [Red Bull and sister team AlphaTauri] haven’t raised any official complaint either about Susie or Toto or Mercedes to the FIA.”

Following Horner’s denial, Haas, Aston Martin, Williams, McLaren, Alpine, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari all released similar statements on social media denying making a complaint and supporting the work done by Susie Wolff and F1 Academy.

Horner added: "Red Bull has been the team that has got most involved with F1 Academy since its inception, to the point that between the two Red Bull-owned teams, we’ll be entering three cars in 2024. So we’ve been working closely with Susie, who’s been doing a great job on F1 Academy.

"So I think we, like others, were quite surprised by the statement that came out last night, but it certainly wasn’t instigated or required or set off by Red Bull.

"We’ve not raised any official complaint or made any requests to the FIA or to FOM (Formula One Management).

Christian Horner says Red Bull did not make an official complaint about Toto and Susie Wolff

"As far as the other teams, I can’t talk on behalf of others. This is an FIA thing, they’ve taken this action, but as I say, certainly nothing to do with Red Bull."

Susie Wolff said in a statement late on Tuesday that she rejected the claims “in the strongest possible terms” – adding that the allegations are simply “baseless”.

“I am deeply insulted but sadly unsurprised by the public allegations that have been made this evening,” she said, on social media.

“It is disheartening that my integrity is being called into question in such a manner, especially when it seems to be rooted in intimidatory and misogynistic behaviour, and focused on my marital status rather than my abilities.

Susie Wolff has rejected conflict of interest allegations against her and husband, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff

“Throughout my career in motorsport, I have encountered and overcome numerous obstacles and I refuse to let these baseless allegations overshadow my dedication and passion for F1 Academy.

“As a woman in this sport, I have faced my fair share of challenges but my commitment to breaking down barriers and paving the way for future generations to succeed remains unwavering.”

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton shared Susie’s statement on his own Instagram story on Tuesday night.

It is understood the allegations centre around a comment Toto Wolff made at a team principals’ meeting recently, suggesting he had information that could only have been traced back to FOM.

Mercedes and FOM also rejected the allegations.

Toto became team principal of Mercedes in 2013, winning eight constructors’ titles and seven drivers’ titles, while former driver Susie became F1 Academy director in March ahead of the inaugural season this year.

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