Toto Wolff is back in news on the topic of ‘conflict of interest’ considering his wife Susie is running F1 Academy – which is a subsidiary of FOM.
Already in 2022, Mercedes boss Wolff came under the scrutiny when he raised suspicion regarding Red Bull’s apparent cost cap breach in 2021. He relayed it during Singapore GP which was made official around the US GP which left Christian Horner seething.
McLaren’s Zak Brown got involved too as suspicions was raised over Wolff’s closeness to FIA interim general secretary Shaila Ann Rao. There were reports indicating that the former Mercedes employee may have leaked the cost cap information to Wolff.
Rao had joined the FIA after leaving Mercedes but since she was close to Wolff, the speculation only grew. She was eventually not made permanent by President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, which led to more rumours amid a sexism charge on Sulayem.
The friction between FIA and F1 has continued on with Sulayem eventually stepping back from active role with F1 running. Even now, there are bits and pieces coming up especially with the decision on 11th team entering the sport, where the FOM has to decide.
The FIA has given green signal to Andretti Cadillac and they are keen to see them on the F1 grid. Amid this, Business F1 has reported of fresh conflict of interest situation involving the Wolffs – Toto and Suise – which has worried team bosses in the paddock.
While Sulayem is not certain if this is the case of rival F1 teams trying to play around, but with Susie being the head of F1 Academy – a subsidiary of FOM which makes her an employee of F1 – and Toto heading Mercedes, there is public conflict of interest.
Susie has access to confidential information of F1 which she may or may not pass to Toto – that is the worry that rival outfits have at the moment which they believe could be bigger than Rao’s case. So far, there hasn’t been any public response to such allegations.
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