Mercedes racing team boss Toto Wolff believes his team can compete fiercely against Red Bull next season, armed with the measures and strategies recently adopted by McLaren and Aston Martin as inspiration.
He highlighted Aston Martin’s strong performance from 2022 to 2023 and a major mid-season upgrade program that could make McLaren competitive this season.
“From our current position, we only need steps like those McLaren and Aston Martin have achieved in one go, not improvements (which are slow by nature), but improvements that allow us to return faster (at the best performance). “So, yes, I think it is a possibility,” Wolff said, as quoted on the official Formula 1 website on Thursday.
After winning eight consecutive constructors’ titles, Mercedes has had a rocky start to F1’s new era in 2022 and is still fighting to get back on a more competitive path.
The team nicknamed the Silver Arrows are second in the constructors’ standings, 310 points behind Red Bull, who have won every race since last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and look set to achieve another double .
When asked if the team knew exactly what it 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 have to overcome,” Wolff said.
“We just need to put all the components together so they work well together in the car, so I won’t mention a single thing,” he added.
Regarding Mercedes’ immediate prospects, Wolff is also eyeing their chances at this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street circuit, which features high downforce and is considered more suited to their W14 car.
“From last year to this year, we have to be careful with our forecasts. But we don’t know (if the prediction is correct). “The teams from second to sixth can be very close, it’s us, Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin,” said the Austrian.
“But we are consistently scoring points with both cars, we are firmly in second place in the manufacturers’ standings. So we will do our best given the lack of performance of the car,” he added.
A resounding scandal: the Dutch Football Federation admits having paid a large “ransom”
The Dutch Football Association has admitted paying a ransom to a group of hackers who hacked the association’s official database and stole confidential information.
A group of hackers hacked into the databases of the Dutch Football Association and threatened to publish all information if their demands were not implemented.
The Dutch Football Association has not revealed or clarified to whom this data is linked, nor the extent of its confidentiality, privacy and importance, especially since it is linked to the national team Dutch league as well as local league clubs of different levels.
The Dutch Football Federation explained in an official statement that it had tried, with the help of a group of experts, to discover the origin of the pirates in order to reach them, but that they were unable to do so. had not arrived, which led them to pay the ransom. and finally giving in to demands.
The press release emphasizes that the experts did not know the type of data stolen or consulted, which put them in a dilemma without finding a satisfactory and reassuring solution regarding the treatment of the authors.
He added: “They may have obtained files containing personal data, and their publication may lead to consequences that violate the privacy of their owners.”
He continues: “For us, preventing the distribution of this data is much more important than the principle of not exposing ourselves to blackmail, and this is what led to reaching an agreement with the hackers under the control of an expert regarding not publishing and deleting data.
The Dutch FA refused to be misled by the authors’ allegations or promised not to publish the information, stressing that it apologizes for the inappropriate stance which could lead to the publication of the information if the hackers violated the ‘agreement.
The Dutch FA was the subject of strong criticism from some supporters on social networks, who described the affair as a “scandal”, especially since the data of hundreds of people risked being disclosed to any time during the coming period.