F1

Christian Horner: Red Bull have not complained to FIA about Susie or Toto Wolff

Toto Wolff is team principal at Mercedes (Tim Goode/PA)
Toto Wolff is team principal at Mercedes (Tim Goode/PA) Toto Wolff is team principal at Mercedes (Tim Goode/PA)

Christian Horner maintains Red Bull did not raise any official complaint with the FIA over allegations F1 Academy managing director Susie Wolff and her husband, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, shared confidential information.

A report in Business F1 magazine said there is concern among other Formula One team principals that Toto Wolff has had access to information, via his wife, which is not being shared with them that he is using to his benefit.

In her role at the all-female F1 academy, to which she was appointed in March, Susie Wolff reports directly to F1 president and chief executive Stefano Domenicali.

The FIA announced on Tuesday that its compliance department was “looking in to the matter”.

Susie Wolff issued a statement on social media saying she was left “deeply insulted” by the allegations, which she rejected “in the strongest possible terms.”

Horner has dismissed suggestions Red Bull instigated the action from the FIA and pointed to the team’s involvement with the Academy as well as praising the “great job” done by Susie Wolff.

“We have a big rivalry (with Mercedes) on track, but we haven’t raised any official complaint, either about Susie or Toto or Mercedes to the FIA,” Horner said on Sky Sports News.

“In fact, Red Bull has been the team which has got most involved with Formula One Academy from its inception, to the point that between the two Red Bull owned teams we will be entering three cars.

“We have been working closely with Susie, who has been doing a great job on Formula One Academy.

“I think we, like others, were quite surprised at the statement that came out last night, but it certainly wasn’t instigated or required or set off by Red Bull.”

Red Bull Racing team principle Christian Horner
Red Bull Racing team principle Christian Horner Red Bull chief Christian Horner accepts there is a “big rivalry” with Mercedes on the track (Tim Goode/PA)

Pressed again over any possible involvement across the organisation’s group, which also includes the AlphaTauri F1 team, Horner said: “We have not raised any official complaint or made any requests to the FAI or to FOM (Formula One Management).

“Indeed, we have been working very closely with Susie on the Formula One Academy – we are the only group that is going to be entering three cars in the academy for 2024.

“It is great work that they are doing with the academy and we are certainly exited about that.

“As far as the other teams, I can’t talk on behalf of others. This is an FAI thing, they have taken this action and, as I say, (it is) certainly nothing to do with Red Bull.”

Later on Wednesday, other F1 teams also went on record to distance themselves from the reported allegations.

A statement from Ferrari read: “We can confirm that we have not made any complaint to the FIA regarding the allegation of information of a confidential nature being passed between an F1 team principal and a member of FOM staff.

“We are pleased and proud to support F1 Academy and its managing director through our commitment to sponsor an entrant in our liveries from next season.”

Using the same wording in statements posted on social media, McLaren, Williams and Haas also rejected suggestions the team had been involved.

Mercedes team principle Toto Wolff
Mercedes team principle Toto Wolff Toto Wolff is team principal at Mercedes (Tim Goode/PA)

Mercedes also released a statement in response, which said it “wholly rejected” what had been alleged.

A statement from Formula One, meanwhile, said it had “complete confidence” the allegations were wrong.

“We have robust processes and procedures that ensure the segregation of information and responsibilities in the event of any potential conflict of interest,” the statement added.

“We are confident that no member of our team has made any unauthorised disclosure to a team principal and would caution anyone against making imprudent and serious allegations without substance.”