“Alonso was so clear with Aston Martin for something, he knew it”

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Whoever dares with green is handsome, says the saying, because this color does not suit anyone. The Aston Martin AMR23 will be presented on February 13, without superstitions, and it will hardly be an ugly car because its color british green He has stood out on the grill these years. But the car does not have to be pretty, but fast, so that Fernando Alonso aspires to the results that his level as a driver would allow him to achieve in the right seat. AS talks about it with Mike Krack (Luxembourg, 50 years old), the main team of Aston Martin in Formula 1.

—Imagine that we are in July 2022 and you have a pilot in front of you who is not sure what the next step is. How would you convince him that the green car will be better than the blue one?

-(Series). Good start. She should ask Fernando. The green team stands out because we are expanding, we are very serious about our ambitions. They are not just words, we are building a new headquarters, a new wind tunnel, we have signed a lot of very good people. It’s a matter of making everything work together, but the potential of our project is absolutely real.

—All the teams on the grid have said that they hope to win in three or five years. Why Aston Martin is the right bet

“Because we take it more seriously.” Our ambitions are credible. No one on the grid has made the investments to achieve it. There are teams that say yes, that in three years they will be winning, that in a hundred races they will be winning (an allusion to Alpine’s plan), but what are they doing to win? With the factory, the wind tunnel, the new simulators, we are serious, there is a huge investment behind it. That’s why Fernando was clear about it so quickly, in fact we didn’t even have to convince him, he already knew it. He has his contacts everywhere. We are credible, we are not just talking, we are acting.

Mike Krack, Aston Martin main team.

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Mike Krack, Aston Martin main team. Dan MullanGetty

—So far, your greatest success has been signing Alonso. Is it a risk to become a big team in the media, but not on the track?

It’s something we have to avoid. But even when we signed Fernando we didn’t use big phrases either. We have never said that we are going to win, we have never said that we are going to be world champions. We are trying to progress, we want to be there in a couple of years, but we have not said that we are going to win because we have Fernando. We have to give him the right tools to win. I would be surprised if people perceive us as a team that only talks about winning, because we don’t do that.

—What do you think is Fernando’s real position on this grid?

“In a car identical to everyone else’s, in the front row.”

“And what is the path from your current position to that position?”

—The main task is to provide a car that is capable of doing that for Fernando. If we produce it, he will put it where it belongs.

“In a car identical to everyone else’s, Fernando is in the front row”

Mike Krack

—You will understand that in Spain there are certain doubts about the single-seaters that Alonso has had in recent seasons…

-I get it. And I can say that I will try to make everyone happy in Spain, and also in Great Britain. (Aston Martin origin). And to Aston Martin fans around the world. In F1 the car is very important, but if you have the car you also need the right drivers. We want to have both. There is hard work ahead and we cannot promise anything, but the confidence that Fernando has placed in the team is a great motivation for everyone. Everyone is highly motivated to build the car that Fernando deserves.

—They already had Vettel, why do they say that signing Fernando is going one step further?

-That’s a good question. Because ‘Seb’ is a four-time world champion. But he is a different person, he has made the decision to stop when Fernando has made the decision to continue for a longer time, that changes the team’s motivation. There are dynamics in the team that revolve around that. We are grateful for what Sebastian has brought, he took the team to a different level; but the combination of the investment behind it and Fernando’s hunger will make us progress even more.

—Since when are you completely focused on the 2023 car?

—Since before the summer break (mid-August). The work started before that, but the most important thing started a couple of weeks before the summer break.

—How similar will it be to the 2022 car?

-Absolutely nothing.

—How high up on the grid do you expect to see that car?

“As soon as possible.” It is very easy to talk, to say if we are going to do this or that. But F1 is not that predictable. It is a relative game. With all the progress we’re making, if all the teams make that progress we’ll stay where we were. We have to go further than the others. This year we started low and it was very hard to get to the front of the midfield. We want to start from a better base in 2023 because with the spending ceiling you cannot afford a bad start. Every step you try to take is very expensive. We were seventh in 2021, seventh in 2022 and we have to go from there.

“I don’t think Fernando has little time left”

Mike Krack

—How realistic is it to think that a car that is seventh today can fight for podiums next year?

Not the same car. The same team, yes. All F1 teams are at a very high level. In 2022 there was overweight in the cars, there were different concepts of aerodynamics. After a year with these rules it will be easier to take a proper direction. Although not everyone will be able to make the same progress.

—Did you know Fernando before?

-Not.

“What have you heard of him?”

-Only good things (laughs). When you are in a team for so many years, you hear stories. But I like to live my own experience and until now I have only had good relations with the drivers based on transparency and honesty. Even if they are not comfortable, it is important to do so with each employee. I don’t expect any problems with Fernando as long as we give him a fast car and we are transparent.

—Fernando seems the youngest driver, but perhaps he doesn’t have so many F1 years ahead of him. Are his times and Aston Martin’s times aligned?

-Yes I think so. You say that he does not have many years of F1 left, I am not sure that he agrees with that. If you have someone with this level of motivation, we have already seen it with Valentino Rossi. If the motivation is there, plus the dedication, the physical and mental preparation, his talent and his experience, I don’t think he will have little time left.

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