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Lewis Hamilton criticises FIA and leaps to defence of Susie Wolff: ‘It’s unacceptable’

Lewis Hamilton has leapt to the defence of Susie Wolff and branded the behaviour of F1’s governing body, the FIA, “disappointing” and “unacceptable.”

Unspecified media complaints had suggested confidential information had been shared between Susie Wolff and husband Toto, with Susie working alongside F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali in her role as managing director of the all-female series F1 Academy, and Toto the CEO of Mercedes F1 team.

The FIA confirmed a compliance team looked into the matter but, on Thursday night, they dropped the probe and stated they are satisfied that their systems are “robust enough” to prevent any “unauthorised disclosure of confidential information.”

However, Susie insists this is not the end of the matter, detailing how nobody from the FIA has spoken to her this week in a statement on Twitter/X on Friday. Toto also confirmed he is in an “active legal exchange with the FIA” over the controversy.

Speaking at the FIA’s end-of-season-gala in Baku on Friday, Mercedes driver Hamilton said: "It’s been a challenging week Disappointing to see the governing body of our sport has seek to question the integrity of one of the most incredible female leaders we’ve ever had in our sport with Susie Wolff. Without questioning and without any evidence.

“Then just saying sorry at the end? And that’s just unacceptable.

”We’ve got a lot of great people within our sport who are doing amazing work. There is a constant fight to really improve diversity and inclusion within the industry.

“It seems there are certain individuals in the leadership of the FIA that every time we try and make a step forward they are trying to pull us back, and that has to change.”

It is understood the allegations centred around a comment Toto Wolff made at a team principals’ meeting recently, suggesting he had information that could only have been traced back to Formula One Management (FOM).

Lewis Hamilton has branded behaviour from the FIA as ‘unacceptable’ (Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton has branded behaviour from the FIA as ‘unacceptable’ (Getty Images)

Susie said on Friday: “When I saw the statement issued by the FIA yesterday evening [confirming the investigation had been dropped], 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.”

Toto Wolff, who has overseen six of Lewis Hamilton’s record-equalling seven world championships, said Mercedes are considering legal action.

While Susie thanked all 10 F1 teams for their support – as they all denied raising a complaint – she told of the online abuse she and her family have faced this week and says the sport must do better.

Toto became team principal of Mercedes in 2013, winning eight constructors’ titles and seven drivers’ titles, while former driver Susie became F1 Academy director in March ahead of the inaugural season this year.