Hamilton hits out at FIA over unacceptable Wolff saga

Lewis Hamilton was clearly impressed by the FIA's handling of the Susie and Toto Wolff saga

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Lewis Hamilton slammed the FIA‘s botched handling of their investigation into Susie and Toto Wolff, and accused unnamed figures in the governing body of attempting to hold Formula 1 back from improving its diversity and inclusion.

It’s been an embarrassing week for the FIA ahead of their end-of-season gala, as they announced an allegation of confidential information being passed between the Mercedes team principal and his wife, who heads the F1 Academy.

But after being slapped by a unified response from the other nine F1 teams, the FIA swiftly climbed down from that pedestal and Mercedes and the Wolffs revealed they’re in an ‘active legal exchange’ over the sage.

“It’s been a challenging week,” Hamilton told the media. “[It’s] disappointing really, to see that the governing body of our sport has sought to question the integrity of one of the most incredible female leaders we’ve ever had in our sport in Susie Wolff, without questioning, without any evidence.”

“Then saying sorry at the end, that’s just unacceptable. So we’ve got a lot of great people within the sport who are doing amazing work.

Hamilton takes aim at FIA figures resisting change

McLaren’s new academy driver Bianca Bustamente | Mclaren F1 team

Susie Wolff became the first woman to take part in an F1 weekend in 22 years when she appeared in free practice at the 2014 British Grand Prix, but retired at the end of the following season to focus on improving opportunities for the next generation of female racers.

Married to Toto since 2011, she was appointed managing director of F1 Academy at the start of 2023, the all-female F4 series designed to give young women a smooth transition from karting into single-seaters.

The first season was an undisputed success, with champion Marta Garcia signing with powerhouse Prema for the 2024 Formula Regional European Championship, and Bianca Bustamente joining the McLaren development programme.

Hamilton has also stepped up his involvement in improving access to motorsport for people from under-represented backgrounds since the start of 2020, through the Hamilton Commission and Mission 44.

“This is a global sport,” Hamilton added. “And we have such an incredible opportunity and a responsibility to be leaders of change. As we’re travelling to all those countries around the world, we have a responsibility to make sure that we push in the right direction.

“So I do want to acknowledge that there are a lot of people out that are doing great work, but we need to make some changes to make sure that we’re all pushing in the right direction. There is a constant fight to really improve diversity and inclusion within the industry.

“But it seems that there are certain individuals in the leadership within the FIA that every time we try and make a step forward, they’re trying to pull us back. And that has to change.”

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