Lewis Hamilton has sharply criticised the FIA for their handling of an investigation into Susie and Toto Wolff, calling the approach “unacceptable.” This rebuke follows the FIA’s abrupt conclusion of an inquiry into the Wolffs, raising serious concerns about fairness and transparency within Formula One.
The controversy began when the FIA launched an investigation into Susie Wolff, F1 Academy managing director, and her husband Mercedes CEO and team principal Toto Wolff, over a potential conflict of interest. The probe was swiftly concluded after Formula One teams unanimously dismissed the concerns, leading to an immediate halt of the investigation. This sudden end, however, has sparked a wave of criticism, particularly from Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton, speaking ahead of the FIA Gala, didn’t mince words. He expressed his disappointment, saying:
“Disappointing to see the governing body questioning the integrity of one of the most incredible female leaders we’ve had in our sport, without questioning, without any evidence, then just saying sorry at the end, that’s just unacceptable.
“There is a constant fight to really improve diversity and inclusion within the industry, but 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.”
“When I saw the statement issued by the FIA yesterday evening, my first reaction was: ‘Is that it?’ For two days, insinuations have been made about my integrity in public and through background briefings, but nobody from the FIA has spoken to me directly.
“I might have been collateral damage in an unsuccessful attack on somebody else, or the target of a failed attempt to discredit me personally, but I have worked too hard to have my reputation called into question by an unfounded press release. We have come a long way as a sport.
“I was extremely thankful for the unified support of the Formula One teams. I have worked with so many passionate women and men at F1 and the FIA, who have the very best interests of our sport at heart. However, this episode has so far taken place without transparency or accountability. I have received online abuse about my work and my family.
“I will not allow myself to be intimidated and intend to follow up until I have found out who has instigated this campaign and misled the media. What happened this week is simply not good enough. As a sport, we must demand, and we deserve, better.”