The Formula 1 saga entangling Toto Wolff, his wife and the FIA continued to unfold at the FIA awards gala in Baku. And Lewis Hamilton, there to receive his trophy for third place in the 2023 season, found himself amidst the continuing story involving his Mercedes boss and the aborted investigation by the FIA.
Just before the event, the FIA made a surprising announcement. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the FIA president at the very centre of the drama, was suddenly less visible, citing illness and a concussion. The timing was peculiar, coinciding with Wolff breaking his silence on a controversial, now-dismissed FIA investigation. This investigation concerned alleged exchanges of confidential information involving his wife, Susie Wolff, now the managing director of the F1 Academy series.
“We are currently in active legal exchange with the FIA,” Toto Wolff stated, hinting at a potential defamation lawsuit and demanding “full transparency about what took place and why,” while reserving “all legal rights.”
Susie Wolff, caught in the crossfire, speculated that she might be “collateral damage” in an attack aimed elsewhere, overcome by the “unified support” of Mercedes’ F1 team rivals.
Hamilton took a stand against the FIA leadership, specifically Ben Sulayem. He criticized the questioning of Wolff’s credibility “without any evidence,” reflecting a broader tension within F1’s governing body. “It seems there are certain individuals within the leadership of the FIA that every time we make a step forward they’re trying to pull us back, and that has to change,” Hamilton remarked.