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Team principals unhappy with Susie Wolff Liberty role [update: no they're not]


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#1 Kao18

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 09:43

As per an article in Business F1 magazine, at the 2022 Singapore GP Toto Wolff received confidential info from within the FIA and leaked 2021 cost cap results to the media before any team including Red Bull had seen the results. At the time Shaila Ann Rao (FIA Interim Secretary General) was accused of leaking that information to Toto Wolff. Team Principals are now concerned that Toto has access to confidential information since Susie Wolff is employed by the Formula 1 Group. A former team principal apparently said: "Imagine that Geri Horner or Raquell Stroll were appointed to head up F2 or get a job at Liberty...

 

Link to the article: https://businessf1ma...lip-df_3478/11/

 

A bit strange that this hasn't been picked up by mainstream media yet. Nothing on Autosport or Sky for instance.



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#2 Risil

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 09:54

Interesting. It's not quite like Geri Horner and Raquel Stroll getting a job with the FIA but I see their point. This bit is funny:
 

It appears to have been sparked off by an unusual discussion at their last meeting where Toto Wolff clearly had advance information about a topic that came up, which surprised a number of the team principals. A few of them worked out that it could only have come from a source at Formula 1 Group. According to a person there, Wolff immediately realised he, as that person put it, had "overspoke", and his "uncomfortable" body language immediately aroused the suspicions of some of the others.



#3 Beri

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 10:00

I wouldnt worry too much. Seen the relentless way (social) media convicted Torger with his ties in the Rao incident and the subsequent kneefall he had to take on that matter, he will be sure that anything is under scrutiny that Mercedes or he ever does. And if information stems from his wife, even if it is only suspected, he will be "dealt" with accordingly. So I'd say that he is smarter than that and will steer clear from any conflict of interest if only to not let his empire at Mercedes implode or his future chances on any high ranked job within FOM or the FIA fade away.



#4 Ivanhoe

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 10:04

Saying it's Christian Horner, without saying it's Christian Horner

Another person, admittedly with a history of conflict with Wolff outlined to BusinessF1 exactly what the team principal's concerns were: "They're saying, 'Hey, we can go and have an internal meeting', and the next thing, it's all over Greg Maffei's desk because, you know, Toto's told his wife, who in turn told Stefano [Domenicali], who's told Greg Maffei. Stefano's going to know what we said in 30 seconds


#5 Kao18

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 10:05

I wouldnt worry too much. Seen the relentless way (social) media convicted Torger with his ties in the Rao incident and the subsequent kneefall he had to take on that matter, he will be sure that anything is under scrutiny that Mercedes or he ever does. And if information stems from his wife, even if it is only suspected, he will be "dealt" with accordingly. So I'd say that he is smarter than that and will steer clear from any conflict of interest if only to not let his empire at Mercedes implode or his future chances on any high ranked job within FOM or the FIA fade away.

 

I think you are over estimating Wolff, see the quote from Risil  :lol:



#6 DW46

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 10:09

Saying it's Christian Horner, without saying it's Christian Horner


😂

#7 Beri

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 10:11


I think you are over estimating Wolff, see the quote from Risil  :lol:
 
Without any context, this can be interpreted in any way. Even the information discussed in that quote would be of value to know. Was it a date that was set for the annual FOM/Teamboss BBQ? Or was it an agenda on a more serious matter?
 
If anything; I still think Torger would never compromise his (personal) ambitions in favor of a sneek peak and using this knowledge to his own advantage.


#8 jcbc3

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 10:19

...

 

Link to the article: https://businessf1ma...lip-df_3478/11/

 

...

 

Sylt?

 

/EOT



#9 Kao18

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 10:25

 

 
 
Without any context, this can be interpreted in any way. Even the information discussed in that quote would be of value to know. Was it a date that was set for the annual FOM/Teamboss BBQ? Or was it an agenda on a more serious matter?
 
If anything; I still think Torger would never compromise his (personal) ambitions in favor of a sneek peak and using this knowledge to his own advantage.

 

 

I think it depends on the sneak peak, there might be instances were he just cant stop himself. Besides it doesnt always have to be something major, any bits of leaked info could be helpful and would give him and Mercedes an unfair advantage.



#10 Yoshi

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 11:44

Why I'm not surprised to see something coming up like this and Toto is involved?

Edited by Yoshi, 05 December 2023 - 13:19.


#11 Sterzo

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 11:47

Isn't the bigger risk here that Mercedes will have to toe the FOM line, or Toto won't get his breakfast?



#12 1player

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 11:52

The off-season is here. May this "drama" keep you fed over the Christmas holidays.

#13 gillesfan76

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 13:15

Toto clearly has too much influence. He even got the FIA Race Director to break the FIA’s own Sporting Regulations a couple of years ago in the title deciding race.

”Those lapped cars, you don’t need to let them go right the way around and catch up…just break the fu*king rules Mikey, just do it”



#14 P123

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 13:16

Seems a bit of a muddled article... are they saying she works for FOM, or the FIA?  Two different entities with different roles.  Why would she know any more about FIA business than her husband?



#15 FLB

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 15:12

Seems a bit of a muddled article... are they saying she works for FOM, or the FIA?  Two different entities with different roles.  Why would she know any more about FIA business than her husband?

What the article says is that her role with the F1 Academy gives her (and presumably her husband) a priviledged access to Domenicali and/or Greg Maffei. So more FOM than FIA.



#16 SenorSjon

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 15:21

Toto clearly has too much influence. He even got the FIA Race Director to break the FIA’s own Sporting Regulations a couple of years ago in the title deciding race.

”Those lapped cars, you don’t need to let them go right the way around and catch up…just break the fu*king rules Mikey, just do it”

 

Yeah, he did:

"Their wings are flexing!"

"Their pitstops are too fast"

"A third reprimand? nah"

"Max 10 car lengths distance before race start? Nah, skip that one"

"Cutting a chicane? No problem!"

 

And once he didn't get his way and we've never heard the end of it since.  :p



#17 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 15:30

Adults regardless of married to each other should be allowed to work for two independent companies / organizations without having any nefarious questions or allegations raised.



#18 AlexS

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 15:37

Adults regardless of married to each other should be allowed to work for two independent companies / organizations without having any nefarious questions or allegations raised.

 That depends of circumstances isn't it ? if they are lawyers certainly cannot be in 2 different opposing teams. Same if one is a politician and the other manages a company that gets funds from government.



#19 Hinkypunk

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 15:50

Yeah, he did:

"Their wings are flexing!"

"Their pitstops are too fast"

"A third reprimand? nah"

"Max 10 car lengths distance before race start? Nah, skip that one"

"Cutting a chicane? No problem!"

 

And once he didn't get his way and we've never heard the end of it since.  :p

 

And also: "Michael, please no safety car, it interferes with the race"...



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#20 PayasYouRace

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 15:59

Adults regardless of married to each other should be allowed to work for two independent companies / organizations without having any nefarious questions or allegations raised.


Surely the problem suggested here is that they’re not working for independent organisations?

#21 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 16:35

Surely the problem suggested here is that they’re not working for independent organisations?

 

Huh?

 

Mercedes F1 and FIA?



#22 PayasYouRace

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 16:38

Huh?

Mercedes F1 and FIA?


Mercedes F1 are definitely dependent on the FIA to go about their business of racing F1 cars.

#23 P123

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 16:45

What the article says is that her role with the F1 Academy gives her (and presumably her husband) a priviledged access to Domenicali and/or Greg Maffei. So more FOM than FIA.

 

All appears to be a bit of a 'maybe' and a story based on 'something'.  Nothing of real substance.  What are we meant to be accusing Susie Wolff of?  She isn't directly involved in F1, and won't be anything regulatory, so whilst the nose of a certain team boss(es) may be out of joint, who as we know all care a lot about money, I'd think it far less concerning from a sporting standpoint than teams hiring former FIA technical staff who are privy to the technical secrets of all teams.


Edited by P123, 05 December 2023 - 16:46.


#24 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 17:00

Mercedes F1 are definitely dependent on the FIA to go about their business of racing F1 cars.

 

That seems like a stretch to me.



#25 Wirdheim

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 17:40

” Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff and wife Susie are under investigation by the FIA Compliance department for a potential conflict of interest.”

https://t.co/xtr7CcbT4W

There’s definitely something going on.

Edited by Wirdheim, 05 December 2023 - 17:41.


#26 CSF

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 17:41

Oh Toto. 



#27 Marklar

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 17:43

sounds like other teams trying to stir something. the role in f1 academy has pretty nothing to do with f1. but after all Merc is also the only team that apparently isnt allowed to employ former FIA employees.

What the article says is that her role with the F1 Academy gives her (and presumably her husband) a priviledged access to Domenicali and/or Greg Maffei. So more FOM than FIA.

and Ferrari has more access because Domenicali is their former team boss

Edited by Marklar, 05 December 2023 - 17:45.


#28 BleuMurmure

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 17:46

” Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff and wife Susie are under investigation by the FIA Compliance department for a potential conflict of interest.”

https://t.co/xtr7CcbT4W

There’s definitely something going on.

that's something. This is the time where FOM can share their compliance investigation results, because I'm sure they did before hiring Mrs. Wolff to run the F1 Academy show.



#29 Gemini

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 17:55

Toto#1 Bottas' agent was negotiating Mercedes contract with Toto#2 , the Team Principal.

 

If  he could build confidentiality firewall between Toto#1 and Toto#2 and convince Daimler Legal and Compliance that everything is fine, I am sure he can convince FIA about the same in case of of Toto#2 and Wife#1

 

:wave:  


Edited by Gemini, 05 December 2023 - 17:57.


#30 loki

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 17:56

88bu7k.jpg



#31 ClubmanGT

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 17:58

Adults regardless of married to each other should be allowed to work for two independent companies / organizations without having any nefarious questions or allegations raised.

 

If you're going to say things you can only know if someone who shouldn't tell you something told you something then that's not a 'nefarious' question. 



#32 Carsey

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 18:02

https://www.autospor...erest/10555369/

 

Always knew there was something shady going on with Mercedes and the FIA.    First that previous Merc Lawyer on a internship at the FIA accounting and now Suzie running information back between the two.

 

 

Farrrrr too suspect.



#33 DW46

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 18:10

https://www.autospor...erest/10555369/

Always knew there was something shady going on with Mercedes and the FIA. First that previous Merc Lawyer on a internship at the FIA accounting and now Suzie running information back between the two.


Farrrrr too suspect.



I think the insinuation is the other way, that Toto is telling Suzuka what’s happening in TP briefings.

#34 jacdaniel

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 18:27

To this day, the most concerning thing about the 2021 cost cap was that Toto knew all about it and was speaking to the media about it before the findings were even officially published…

#35 Mark1865

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 18:38

To this day, the most concerning thing about the 2021 cost cap was that Toto knew all about it and was speaking to the media about it before the findings were even officially published…


I don’t mean to state the obvious, but surely the most concerning thing about the 2021 cost cap was that Red Bull did not comply with it?

#36 AV1

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 19:09

What this post really needs, is a very nice and subjective poll to be added  :smoking:



#37 FLB

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 19:28

sounds like other teams trying to stir something. the role in f1 academy has pretty nothing to do with f1. but after all Merc is also the only team that apparently isnt allowed to employ former FIA employees.
and Ferrari has more access because Domenicali is their former team boss

It's all part of the FIA due diligence, IMHO. Recently, there allegedly was another case that flew low on the radar (not in F1) and, in the end, compliance was reached.



#38 MissingApex

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 19:35

I think the insinuation is the other way, that Toto is telling Suzuka what’s happening in TP briefings.

Risil’s quote contradicts that.

#39 FirstnameLastname

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 19:42

What this post really needs, is a very nice and subjective poll to be added :smoking:


Suggested options:

A) Toto Wolff is cheating and should be sacked
B) FIA should sack Toto Wolff for cheating
C) I don’t care that he was cheating. But sack him anyway.

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#40 FirstnameLastname

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 19:46

Maybe to add another arm and leg to this…

Dieter Rencken Recently employed by the FIA and now stories from within being leaked to the media…..

And how detached from Ferrari can Stefano truly be?

Also - strange that Mercedes lose their magic touch once their former team principal leaves his role running F1

It’s only fair that Helmut Marco is immediately installed as the anti-cheating and fairness commissioner.

#41 FirstnameLastname

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 19:47

ForMOLEr One

#42 flyboym3

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 19:59

This is just an ongoing battle between FOM and FIA (Mohammed) really.

https://www.autospor...ademy/10437872/

I suspect when Domenicalli gave Sussie the role Mohammed was not best pleased in the power battle.

https://www.theguard...ogyny-claims-f1

https://www.reddit.c...rks_and_denies/


Guys a nut job and holds personal grudges.

FOM would do well to get him removed, they shouldn't have believed Mohammed when he recently said he would pipe down by stepping back. He will go quiet for a bit then pipe up again.

As FOM is Susies employer and Toto is owner of Mercedes F1 I'm really not sure exactly what jurisdiction the FIA (read Mohammed) has?

Who cares about the ladies championship that Susie is managing anyway- is the conflict material in men's vs womens chsmpionship?

When will Mohammed care about the conflict of interest in Redbull Technology servicing 2 teams owned by the same parent company?

Why does Mohammed always seem to have it in for anything Mercedes related? (Some kind words for Masi in that article, nothing about the pain Hamilton went through. Followed up by Gala witchunt and jewelley witchunt too). Its constant.

Edited by flyboym3, 05 December 2023 - 21:01.


#43 P123

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 20:00

I think the insinuation is the other way, that Toto is telling Suzuka what’s happening in TP briefings.

 

It surely has to be that way, otherwise why would something Toto says to his fellow TPs raise their ire, unless they also had prior knowledge of something they shouldn't, in order to know that he shouldn't know.   Any complaints would come from FOM if their info was being passed to Toto.  :D  It seems the problem would more likely be that FOM would know of something discussed by TPs, which most likely would be passed on by Susie via Toto.  FIA though are regulatory, so the 'what' is interesting, as FOM are commercial/ promotional.  Fortunately this is no longer the days of Bernie. 

 

 

To this day, the most concerning thing about the 2021 cost cap was that Toto knew all about it and was speaking to the media about it before the findings were even officially published…

 

Yes, it was a strong paddock rumour.  He didn't raise it, though he did suggest harsh penalties should be dished out.  Which is really what is behind the continued angst, because those who are fans of the team who cheated need something to grasp in order to deflect.  So just pretend that Wolff must have been told (although, do we believe rumours and 'insiders' aren't a thing the paddock is rife with?)  It was morally correct to speak out too, given the importance of the cap, and also morally correct given the FIA's underhand dealings of the previous serious major rules breach whereby there was no transparency and everything was conducted without any public scrutiny.



#44 renzmann

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 20:23

Assuming there is truth to the article, I think this is both on the Wolffs and the FIA (FOM?). At the very least it's unprofessional by Suzie and Toto to talk about matters they shouldn't talk about. Obviously.

 

It's also weird for the FIA (FOM?) to hire Suzie for that position, though. It was a clear conflict of interest all along. Then again, this is hardly surprising. I'll never understand why F1 is a world so relaxed about conflicts of interests. It happens so often that I don't understand why this case in particular is any different from all the other cases, to be fair.



#45 Myrvold

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 20:47

Also - strange that Mercedes lose their magic touch once their former team principal leaves his role running F1


Arguably they had less competition from other teams in 2014-2016 when Brawn wasn't part of Merc or FOM. Compared to 2017-2022 when he was a part of FOM.

#46 flyboym3

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 20:58

As I predicted FOM have issued a strongly worded rebuttal.

https://www.autospor...rong-/10555408/

(Meanwhile its ok for the Redbull B team to be managed by Peter Bayer - the former FIA secretary General to motorsports and FIA executive F1 director. This guy also led the FIA investigation into AD 2021 so he'll fit right in the redbull camp and doesn't leave me with much confidence about how impartial he was/is now he's ended up at RBR anyway)

Edited by flyboym3, 05 December 2023 - 20:58.


#47 Marklar

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 21:07

Susie made a questionable statement in my opinion

https://www.instagra...WI2YzEzYmMxYg==

i am certain she is right about it being misogynistic because clearly no conflict of interesent between men that have been far more serious have ever mattered before, but its always better when others say this than you. it comes across defensive

edit: though given that its based on a f1business article which is run by a massive misogynist that has been multiple times successfully sued for libel I can understand the tone

Edited by Marklar, 05 December 2023 - 21:30.


#48 liamski

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 21:09

Statement from the team:

 

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.

As a matter of course, we invite full, prompt, and transparent correspondence from the FIA Compliance Department regarding this investigation and its contents.



#49 Broekschaap

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 21:23

Statement from the team:

 

.........

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.

.........

Must be very inconvenient somehow their advanced warning system got broken...



#50 P123

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 21:31

Susie made a questionable statement in my opinion

https://www.instagra...WI2YzEzYmMxYg==

i am certain she is right about it being misogynistic because clearly no conflict of interesent between men that have been far more serious have ever mattered before, but its always better when others say this than you. it comes across defensive

 

I think she is correct that it is due to her marital status, as in who she is married to undoubtedly puts a target on her back.

 

Assuming there is truth to the article, I think this is both on the Wolffs and the FIA (FOM?). At the very least it's unprofessional by Suzie and Toto to talk about matters they shouldn't talk about. Obviously.

 

It's also weird for the FIA (FOM?) to hire Suzie for that position, though. It was a clear conflict of interest all along. Then again, this is hardly surprising. I'll never understand why F1 is a world so relaxed about conflicts of interests. It happens so often that I don't understand why this case in particular is any different from all the other cases, to be fair.

 

She was hired as MD of the F1 Academy series, having previously been an FE team boss, and also a few years ago having set up a programme to encourage girls into karting.  So nothing weird about it given her prior experience.  From that role, it's open to interpretation as to what the conflict of interest would be.... what information would she be dealing with that would be pertinent to the running of an actual F1 team or the relationship between FOM and the F1 teams, who belong to another series?  Quite different from some of the movements that have happened with FIA personnel going on to work for F1 teams which would seem to be more of a 'conflict of interest' thing, but perhaps it happens so often that it is accepted.