By signing Fernando Alonso for the 2023 Formula 1 season, the Aston Martin F1 team is looking to give itself the means to achieve its ambitions after recruiting a driver who, despite being 41 years old, is considered one of the best on the grid.
But with the Spaniard having spent the last two years with Alpine F1, who finished the 2022 season fourth in the constructors’ championship, he shouldn’t be too easy to beat as the Silverstone team struggle.
That’s why Aston Martin F1 director Mike Krak was invited to answer the following question from the Iberian daily AS: how he managed to convince the two-time world champion that it would be beneficial for him to give up the blue car to drive. green?
“It’s a good start” The Luxembourger replies with a smile. “Maybe you should ask Fernando.”
“Green team is different because we are expanding, we are very serious in our ambitions. This is not just a word, we are building a new plant, a new wind tunnel, we have signed many things, but the potential of our project is absolutely real.”
The signing of Alonso is obviously a huge media stunt for a team that wants to compete with the best, but it just isn’t meant to be and the results on the track are not going as described. Crack.
“It’s something we have to avoid. But even when we signed Fernando, we didn’t use big words. We never said that we will win, we will be the world champion.”
“We’re trying to progress, we want to be there in a few years, but we never said we’re going to win with Fernando. We have to give him the tools to win. I’d be surprised if people think we’re a team that only talks about winning, because we don’t. “
Aston Martin F1 ‘wants to build the car Fernando deserves’
The Luxembourg leader is confident that he has bet on the right driver anyway and believes that if Alonso “In a car that was the same as everyone else’s, he would have been in the first row.”
And to make it a reality “The main task is to provide a car for Fernando that can do that. If we make it, it will put him where he needs to be.”
Since leaving Ferrari at the end of 2014, the Spaniard has never benefited from the single seat that could regularly take him to the podium, let alone victory. So Krack understands the skepticism that can arise after joining a team still under construction in his new driver’s home country.
“I understand that. And I can say that I will try to make everyone happy in Spain as well as in the UK. And of course Aston Martin fans all over the world.”
“The car is very important in Formula 1, but if you have a car, you also need the right drivers. We want to have both. There is a lot of work to be done and we can’t promise anything more than the confidence that Fernando gives to the team. It is a great motivation for all of us. Everyone has maximum motivation to make the car that Fernando deserves.”
Alonso will lead the team further than Vettel
Aston Martin F1 said Alonso’s hiring was a step forward following the departure of Sebastian Vettel. Krack explains why.
“It’s a good question. Seb is a four-time world champion. But he’s a different person, when Fernando decided to go longer, he decided to stop, it changes the motivation of the team.”
“There’s a dynamic in the team around that. We’re grateful for what Sebastian has brought, he’s taken the team to a different level, but the combination of Fernando’s investment and hunger will take us even further.”
Mike Krak didn’t know Alonso before he hired him. Thus, he recalls what was said about the forty-year-old pilot in the past.
“Only good things! When you are in a team for many years, you hear stories. Based on transparency and honesty. It is important to do this with every employee, even if they are not comfortable. I don’t expect any problems with Fernando. , as long as we give him a fast car and with him we are transparent”.
Aston Martin F1 may take several years to achieve the expected success, and Alonso is logically closer to the end of his career than the beginning. But Krack doesn’t think the Spaniard will necessarily be there to reap the rewards of all the hard work that’s been put in right now.
“You say he doesn’t have many years left in Formula 1, I’m not sure I agree with that. It doesn’t matter what age someone is with that level of motivation, we saw that with Valentino Rossi. If he has the motivation, dedication, physical and mental fitness, talent and experience, then I don’t think he has much time left.”