As it is very difficult to specify the capabilities and competitiveness of a Formula 1 car, Mike Krack stays with a description of Alonso on the radio during the Bahrain GP: “The real description is that ‘wow’ of Fernando. In all aspects. Is incredible”. The Luxembourger, Aston Martin’s ‘main team’, collects the praise after months of extreme work at the Silverstone factory to present an AMR23 that has shaken the paddock and has become the second car on the grid by race pace. Alonso’s third place at Sakhir raises the spirits of the factory and makes them contenders for victories this season.
“We didn’t know where we were, in tests you never know what each one is doing. We focused on ourselves, we did our homework. It was very important not to set foot outside in qualifying and in the race we had a plan in place. We didn’t want to get carried away by people stopping too early, we knew we had the tire advantage. And we wanted to give a show by overtaking on the track and not outside ”, now explains Krack on the podium.
Beyond the logical celebration, at Aston Martin they don’t get carried away by trophy fever. “We have to keep our feet on the ground. We knew that we weren’t bad and that we would have a good pace, but we didn’t dream of the podium. We focus on our work. We also had the abandonment of Charles (Leclerc)which we must not forget.” Krack opines. “The handicap is still substantial, we don’t know how much more Red Bull had. I think they were very comfortable, put on the mandatory wheels and went all the way. We have a good result behind us, we have improved our car. But let’s be respectful and humble and see how the season evolves,” he says. Also, it does not enter into the dialectical battle that subtly accuses Aston Martin for resembling the RB19: “We don’t get into wars of words, we leave it at that.”
They don’t look at Red Bull or Mercedes
And now,who are Aston Martin’s rivals? Krack does not want to be directly related to Verstappen and Pérez. “We wanted to take a step forward, not to beat Red Bull. In Jeddah we may be fourth, fifth or sixth in terms of team standings. We have a development plan for the car but it is independent from Red Bull. Nor do we look more at Mercedes than at other teams, we do our own work.”
There is no excess of optimism, nor conformism. “Lawrence Stroll always wants more. But this is good”, illustrates Krack, who also applauds Lance’s first weekend with the AMR23: “He didn’t test, he had problems in free practice and he hadn’t tried hard tyres. He had no references to manage them. So with all this euphoria around the podium, hats off to Lance (was sixth)”. Successes do not change the work plan at Silverstone: “The goal is the same, we want to take a good step forward.”