toto wolff ben sulayem

Wolff: FIA unstable, concerning seeing many people leave

toto wolff ben sulayem

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff is worried about the stability of Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA siting the departure of staff as a cause of concern.

The 52-year-old was recently embroiled in controversy as it was revealed that a “member of FOM personnel” had passed information of a confidential nature to an F1 Team Principal. This was supposedly reported by another team and prompted an investigation by the sport’s governing body.

While no names were formally announced, it was clear that the resulting probe involved the Mercedes boss and the Managing Director of F1 Academy, wife Susie Wolff.

Their names were cleared after the other nine teams released identically-worded statements denying having made any sort of complaint. But damage had been done to the FIA’s credibility as a trustworthy and professional governing body.

An exodus from the motoring association of several members over the following weeks has put the FIA in the spotlight even more. These included Sporting Director Steve Nielsen, single-seater Technical Director Tim Goss and the Head of the FIA’s Commission for Women, Deborah Meyer.

There is no doubt that these sudden changes have destabilized the FIA as they look to repair their reputation as F1’s governing body. Wolff, who extended his tenure at Mercedes until the end of the 2026 season, is concerned about the current state of the organization.

Wolff worried about the future of the FIA

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It’s concerning to see so many good people leaving,” stated the Austrian when speaking to The Telegraph. “Losing Steve Nielsen is a big blow. I couldn’t think of a more knowledgeable and fair 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 is a vacuum. That’s clear. And you’ve got to ask yourself why is it suddenly that so many people have decided to call it a day?” he questioned.

Wolff believes that the FIA must prioritize steadying the ship before the beginning of the 2024 campaign, and set a good example for the rest of the sport.

He continued: “What [the FIA] needs is stability. The FIA is one of three key stakeholders of the sport. And as the leadership of these organizations, we need to set the tone for everybody else.

The 52-year-old is hoping to put all of this behind him however, as he hopes to steer Mercedes towards a Constructors’ Championship crown.

First impressions of the upcoming W15 have been positive according to Wolff; now to wait and see how the performance will translate on track as F1 returns for the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 2nd.