Toto Wolff has expressed concerns about the direction of the world’s governing body for motorsport, stating that the FIA needs more “stability” and to act with greater “transparency.”
The Mercedes F1 team principal also questioned why so many top executives at the FIA were suddenly leaving the organization.
The FIA sparked major controversy last month by announcing it had launched an investigation based on “media speculations” regarding “an allegation that confidential information had been passed to a F1 team principal by a member of the FOM staff.”
FIA did not specify who it was referring to but mentioned Toto and Susie Wolff. The FIA also informed the media that more than one team had expressed concerns. The investigation was dropped after the nine Mercedes competitors issued identical statements denying having filed an official complaint.
Mercedes threatened the FIA with legal action – which still seems to be a possibility – but Wolff stated that the damage was already done.
“Because we have a billion or more people watching our sport, we are role models. And we need to be cautious about the impact of what we do and say. What was said and the way it was done were very, very damaging.”
Wolff made no specific comment on possible legal or other action. He also did not directly criticize FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem. But he broadly questioned the state of the FIA, noting it was “concerning to see the departures in recent weeks” of Sporting Director Steve Nielsen, Single-Seater Technical Director Tim Goss, and FIA Women in Motorsport Commission head Deborah Mayer.
“It’s concerning to see so many good people leave. Losing Steve Nielsen is a big blow. I couldn’t think of a more competent and fairer Sporting Director.”
“As a leader, it’s about the culture and environment you create for people to thrive. When people as competent as these leave an organization, there’s a void. That’s clear. And you have to wonder why suddenly so many people have decided to end their journey?”
Ben Sulayem, elected at the end of 2021, has been involved in numerous controversies in his first two years in office.
“What the FIA needs is stability. The FIA is one of the three key stakeholders of the sport [alongside FOM and the teams]. And as leaders of these organizations, we need to set the tone for everyone. We need to not only say we are acting transparently and ethically but also live by these standards every day.”
Wolff Questions FIA Stability Top Executives Leaving the FIA?. Wolff Questions FIA Stability Top Executives Leaving the FIA?
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