By signing Fernando Alonso for the 2023 Formula 1 season, the Aston Martin F1 team wants to give itself the means to achieve its ambitions after hiring a driver who remains considered one of the best on the grid despite his 41 years.
But as the Spaniard has spent the last two years with Alpine F1, which finished the 2022 season fourth in the constructors’ championship, it must not have been easy to beat him as the Silverstone team struggled.
Mike Krack, director of Aston Martin F1, was therefore invited to answer the following question by the daily newspaper Iberia AS: how did he manage to convince the two-time world champion that it would be beneficial for him to stop driving the blue car. green?
“It’s a good start,” replies the Luxembourger with a smile. “Maybe you should ask Fernando.”
“The green team is standing because we are expanding, we are very serious in our mission. It is not just words, we are building a new factory, a new wind tunnel, we have signed a lot to make it all work together. , but the potential of our project is very real .”
Signing Alonso is clearly a big problem for the media for a team that wants to be involved in the fight with the best players, but not only that and the results on the track do not follow as described. Crack.
“It’s something we should avoid. But even when we signed Fernando, we didn’t use big words either. We never said we would win, we never said we would be world champions.”
“We are trying to move forward, we want to be there in a few years, but we never said that we will win with Fernando. We have to give him the right tools to win. I would be surprised if people saw us as winners. A team that only talks about winning, because that is not what we do.”
Aston Martin F1 wants to ‘build the car Fernando deserves’
The leader of Luxembourg in any case is convinced to bet on the right driver, believing that if Alonso “in a car similar to that of others, he would be in the front row.”
And for this to be true, “The main task is to provide a car that has the ability to do that for Fernando. If we produce it, he will put it where it is needed.”
Since leaving Ferrari at the end of 2014, the Spaniard has never benefited from a single seat capable of bringing him to the podium on a regular basis, let alone victory. So Krack understands the concerns that may exist in the country of his new driver, after the latter joins a team that is still being built.
“I understand that. And I can say that I will try to please everyone in Spain, and also in England. And of course, all the Aston Martin fans around the world.”
“In F1 the car is very important, but if you have a car you also need the right drivers. We want to have both. There is a lot of work to do and we can’t promise anything but the faith that Fernando has put in the team. It is a great motivation for all of us. Everyone is motivated the highest level to build the car that Fernando deserves.”
Alonso will make the team ‘even more advanced’ than Vettel
Aston Martin F1 said hiring Alonso was a step forward following the departure of Sebastian Vettel, who has nothing to envy in terms of record. Krack explains why.
“It’s a good question. Seb is a four-time world champion. But he’s a different person, he made the decision to stop while Fernando made the decision to continue for a long time, it changes the motivation of the team.”
“There is strength in the team around that. We are grateful for what Sebastian has brought, he has taken the team to a different level, but the combination of investment and hunger of Fernando will take us further.”
Mike Krack didn’t know Alonso before signing him. So he brings up what he had been told about the forty-something pilot in the past.
“Only good things! When you are in the team for many years you hear stories. But I like to live my own experience and so far I have had a good relationship with the drivers based on transparency and honesty. well, it is important to do this with every employee. I do not expect any problems with Fernando , as long as we give him a fast car and that we are open to him.”
It could take several years for Aston Martin F1 to achieve the desired success, with Alonso closer to the end of his career than the beginning. But Krack doesn’t think the Spaniard will have to be there to reap the rewards of the hard work that is currently being done.
“You say he doesn’t have many years in F1, I’m not sure I agree with that. Age doesn’t matter if you have someone with that level of motivation,” we have seen with Valentino Rossi. . If the motivation is there, along with the commitment, the physical and mental preparation, his talent and his experience, then I don’t think he has much time ahead of him.”