F1 Academy Director Susie Wolff Files Criminal Complaint Against FIA

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Susie Wolff Files Criminal Complaint Against FIAClive Mason - Formula 1 - Getty Images

Susie Wolff, the managing director of F1 Academy, says she has filed a criminal complaint against motorsport’s governing body, the FIA.

Wolff’s grievance relates back to December, 2023, when the FIA’s Compliance Department took a look into a potential conflict of interest between her and husband Toto, the boss and co-owner of the Mercedes Formula 1 team.

A media report alleged that Formula 1 teams had complained to the FIA that confidential information, purportedly from insider meetings, had been passed between the Wolffs.

The Wolffs were not directly named but the FIA outlined that there was an “allegation of information of a confidential nature being passed to an F1 team principal from a member of FOM personnel,” meaning that it was not difficult to connect the dots.


This was strenuously denied by the Wolffs, Mercedes, and subsequently by all the other nine F1 teams, who made a co-ordinated announcement with identical wording.

The FIA swiftly backtracked and within a couple of days confirmed that there was nothing to investigate.

Wolff issued a strong statement in the aftermath, outlining how she had suffered reputational damage, and is now taking the matter further.

On Thursday, ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, Wolff announced that she has filed a criminal complaint in France, where the FIA is located.

“I can confirm that I personally filed a criminal complaint in the French courts on the 4th of March In relation to the statements made about me by the FIA last December,” Wolff said. “There has still not been any transparency or accountability in relation to the conduct of the FIA and its personnel in this matter. I feel more than ever it is important to stand up, call our improper behaviour and make sure people are held to account.

“While some might think silence absolves them from responsibility—it does not.”

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FIA President Mohammed Ben SulayemAnadolu - Getty Images

Wolff’s complaint comes on the same day that FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem was cleared of wrongdoing by his own governing body, amid more off-track drama in Formula 1 at the start of the 2024 season.

A report by the BBC earlier this month revealed that an FIA whistleblower had reported Ben Sulayem for two separate incidents during the 2023 season.

The first related to his alleged attempt to overturn a time penalty for Fernando Alonso in last year’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix—interfering in a race result—while the second claimed that Ben Sulayem had reportedly pushed for the FIA to delay the certification of the circuit in Las Vegas, the race which was heavily promoted by Formula 1.

The FIA’s Ethics Committee interviewed 11 witnesses and across a month-long investigation dismissed the allegations against the President.

“After reviewing the results of the inquiries, the Ethics Committee were unanimous in their determination that there was no evidence to substantiate allegations of interference of any kind involving the FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem,” read the statement.

“Allegations against the FIA President were unsubstantiated and strong evidence beyond any reasonable doubt was presented to support the determination of the FIA Ethics Committee.

“The President’s complete cooperation, transparency, and compliance throughout the process during this investigation was greatly appreciated.”