Mike Krak: We didn’t even have to convince Fernando

The Aston Martin team is not prone to superstition as they plan to unveil their new car on February 13. Silverstone team principal Mike Krak spoke in an interview with the Spanish newspaper AS about the expectations associated with the arrival of Fernando Alonso.

Q: Let’s say it’s July 2022 and you’re negotiating with a driver who hasn’t yet decided what the next step in his career will be. How would you try to convince him that a green car is better than cars of other colors?
Mike Crack: Not a bad start! You’ll have to ask Fernando that. The green color stands out against the general background, because we are in development and have the most serious ambitions. And those are not empty words, because we are building a new base, a new wind tunnel and we have invited many new specialists. Now we need to achieve a coordinated work of all components of our project, but it has absolutely real potential.

Q: Almost all championship teams say they hope to get wins – some in three years, some in five years. Why bet on Aston Martin?
Mike Crack: Because we take the matter more seriously and our ambitions are justified. No one else invests that much money in an effort to complete the task. Yes, there are teams that promise to win in three years, or that they will win a hundred races, but what do they do about it?

And we will have everything new: base, wind tunnel, simulators. We have the most serious intentions and Fernando understood this very quickly. In fact, we didn’t even have to convince him because he already knew everything. He has his people everywhere. In general, we can be trusted because we not only talk, but also act.

Q: While your biggest success is a contract with Alonso. Don’t you think there is a risk that you will be in the spotlight of the press just because of this, and not because of your results on the track?
Mike Crack: This is exactly what I want to avoid. But even when the contract with Fernando was signed, we didn’t throw any big words. We never said we were going to win races right away, we were going to be champions right away. We try to progress gradually to reach this level in a few years, and we never promised that we would succeed thanks to Fernando.

We have to give him a fast car and create the right conditions. I’d be surprised if people get the idea that we can only talk about future victories, because we don’t.

Q: What do you think, what results can Fernando really count on?
Mike Crack: The main task is to create a machine that will allow it to use its full potential. If we succeed, he will be able to show high results. I will try to make sure that the Spanish fans, and the British, and in general all fans of the Aston Martin brand around the world are happy.

In Formula 1 it is very important that you have an economical car, but if you can build one, you also need good drivers. We want to have both. We have to work hard, we cannot promise everything at once, but we are sure that Fernando will be able to motivate the team perfectly. Everyone really wants to build the car they deserve.

Q: You already had Sebastian Vettel – why do you think you can take another step forward with the arrival of Alonso?
Mike Crack: Good question. Sebastian is a four-time world champion, but he is a different person and decided to end his career. And Fernando decided to stay in Formula 1, and this changes the motivation of the team. There is a certain dynamic to the development and we are grateful to Sebastian for everything he has done for us, as he has been able to take the team to a new level. But now, thanks to a combination of investment and Fernando’s desire to win, we will be able to progress faster.

Q: In 2023, when did you fully transition to working on the creation of the car?
Mike Crack: Before the summer break in the championship. Work on the project started earlier, but we started the main phase of it a few weeks before the summer holidays.

Q: What does the AMR23 have in common with last year’s car?
Mike Crack: Nothing.

Q: What expectations do you associate with it?
Mike Crack: It is very easy to make predictions, but Formula 1 is not so predictable. Everything is relative here. Whatever the pace of progression, if the rest of the teams advance at the same rate, you’ll stay in the same positions. So we have to stay ahead of our rivals.

The beginning of last year wasn’t the best for us, and it was hard to make up for it. In 2023 we want to start with more confidence, because with a tight budget you cannot afford to start the season badly. Every step forward is very precious. In 2021 we took 7th place in the constructors’ championship, in 2022 we remained seventh – from these positions we have to move forward.

Q: Have you known Fernando before?
Mike Crack: No, but I’ve only heard good things about him! (laughs) However, I prefer to rely only on my own experience, and as long as I have a normal working relationship with all riders, they are based on transparency and honesty. I don’t expect we will have problems with Fernando if we are honest with him and give him a fast car.

Question Probably Alonso’s career in Formula 1 will not last that long, because he is not that young yet. Do the possible prospects match Aston Martin’s plans?
Mike Crack: I think so. You say he doesn’t have many years left in Formula 1, but I’m not sure he’ll agree with you. When you work with a rider who has such a high level of motivation, dedication, excellent physical and psychological preparation, talent and experience, I don’t think his time is up. An example is the career of Valentino Rossi.

Source: F1 News

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