Mercedes racing team boss Toto Wolff believes his team can compete fiercely against Red Bull next season, armed with the steps and strategies recently taken by McLaren and Aston Martin as inspiration.
He pointed to Aston Martin’s good performance from 2022 to 2023 and a sizeable mid-season upgrade package that could make McLaren competitive this season.
“From our current position, we only need steps like what McLaren and Aston Martin have achieved in one go, not improvements (which are slow in nature), but improvements that make us quicker to return to (best performance). “So, yes, I think this is a possibility,” said Wolff, quoted on the official Formula 1 website, Thursday.
After winning eight consecutive constructors’ titles, Mercedes endured a challenging start to F1’s new era in 2022 and is still battling to return to a more competitive path.
The team nicknamed the Silver Arrows is second in the constructors’ standings, 310 points behind Red Bull, who have won every race since last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and appear poised for another double.
When asked if the team knew what specifically they wanted to do with the next car, Wolff said he already had a number of ideas.
“I think we have some direction; if we knew it would be much easier. The car is very unpredictable and lacks grip so there are a lot of things we need to overcome,” said Wolff.
“We just need to put all the components together so they work well together in the car, so I won’t mention just one thing,” he added.
Regarding Mercedes’ immediate prospects, Wolff is also considering their chances at this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit which has high downforce and is thought to be more suitable for their W14 car.
“From last year to this year we have to be careful with our predictions. But, we don’t know (if the prediction is correct). “The teams from second to sixth can be very close, that’s us, Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin,” said the man from Austria.
“But we consistently score points with both cars, we are firmly in second place in the constructors’ standings. So, we will give the best job considering the lack of performance of the car,” he added.
A resounding scandal : The Dutch Football Association admits to paying a large “ransom”
The Dutch Football Association admitted to paying a ransom to a group of hackers who hacked into the association’s official database and pirated confidential information from it.
A group of hackers hacked the databases of the Dutch Football Association and threatened to publish all information if their demands were not implemented.
The Dutch Football Association did not reveal or clarify who these data are linked to, and the extent of their confidentiality, privacy and importance, especially since they are linked to the Dutch national team as well as the local league clubs of various levels.
The Dutch Football Association explained, in an official statement, that it tried, with the help of a group of experts, to find out the source of the pirates to reach them, but they failed to do so, which led to them paying the ransom and giving in to the demands in the end.
The statement stressed that the experts failed to know the type of data that was stolen or accessed, which put them in a dilemma without finding a satisfactory and reassuring solution regarding dealing with the perpetrators.
He added: “They may have obtained files containing personal data, and publishing them may lead to consequences that harm the privacy of their owners.”
He continued: “For us, preventing the spread of this data is much more important than the principle of not allowing ourselves to be exposed to blackmail, and this is what led to an agreement being made with the hackers under the supervision of an expert regarding not publishing and deleting the data.”
The Dutch Federation refused to be deceived by the perpetrators’ allegations or promises not to publish the information, stressing that it apologizes due to the inappropriate position that may result in the publication of the information if the hackers violate the agreement.
The Dutch Federation was subjected to harsh criticism by some fans on social media platforms, and they described the matter as a “scandal”, especially since the data of hundreds of people was at risk of being leaked at any time during the coming period.