Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack hails the impact of Fernando Alonso

Aston Martin’s team principal Mike Krack believes the team’s meteoric rise to the F1 podium is due in no small part to the role played by veteran driver, Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard, who left Alpine at the end of the 2022 season, has been a revelation in the green of Aston Martin. A hat-trick of podiums in the first three races has been a huge boost to Alonso and indeed Aston Martin’s place in the Constructors’ Championship.

In fact, Aston Martin are now joint-third favourites with Ferrari at 25/1 to win the Constructors’ Championship, according to Ladbrokes.

A new review on this site from oddschecker suggests Ladbrokes offers odds that are in line with the industry average. At odds of 25/1, Aston Martin are considered to have a 3.85% chance of winning the title, underlining the likely dominance of Red Bull this term.

However, considering that Aston Martin finished seventh in the 2022 Constructors’ Championship, to be battling with the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes is the stuff dreams are made of for Krack and co.

Alonso has been a game-changer for Aston Martin

Krack admitted in a recent interview with BBC Sport that Alonso had brought “a lot of extra energy” and “motivation” to take the team forward in 2023. Krack said the 41-year-old was the “first” to arrive at the team HQ in the morning and the “last to leave” at night, such is his determination to seek individual success in F1 before he retires for good.

Krack said that Alonso’s ambition for more F1 glory is inspiring the team to “extract the last 5-10% from everybody”. Aston Martin’s performance director, Tom McCullough, also praised the efficiency of Alonso’s instructions and feedback in terms of the development of the car. McCullough said Alonso has always been specific about “what he wants from the car” as well as the team. He added that Alonso has been clear about the car’s weaknesses which has helped “lift the team” to focus on the fine margins.

Ultimately, he said the Spaniard was “wanting this project to work”, which is unsurprising given the multi-year contract awarded to him.

It was his first post-season test drive that inspired Alonso to see the possibilities with Aston Martin this season. Krack said that the driver soon discovered the setup was “much better than he was expecting”.
Few teams have made such progress in a single post-season than Aston Martin

After this season’s Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne, Aston Martin found themselves locking horns with Mercedes for second place. Even Lance Stroll came within a whisker of a podium finish. It’s a stark contrast to last season, when the team was at the bottom of the championship and was “close to the slowest car” on the grid.

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Krack said that while Aston Martin has made big strides in the post-season period, their current status near the top of the Constructors’ Championship is somewhat flattered by sluggish progress made by the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes. The latter team has been perplexed by its inability to get things on point aerodynamically.

Nevertheless, Krack is certainly being modest about the team’s improvements. In the final four races of last season, Aston Martin’s car was over one-and-a-half seconds slower per lap than the Red Bull. Fast forward to the opening trio of races this campaign and that gap has been cut to just half-a-second.

The brains behind the enhancements to the car’s design are technical director Dan Fallows and deputy technical director Eric Blandin. Fallows had previously worked as head of aerodynamics at Red Bull, while Blandin joined the team in July 2022 to get to work on the car for the 2023 season.

Perhaps the biggest issue for Aston Martin to overcome is getting accustomed to not being the plucky underdogs any longer. In fact, Krack admits the team is now at a stage where “performing will have to be the [new] normal” race after race. One thing is for sure – with Alonso behind the wheel, there will be no let up and no stone left unturned in the team’s push for perfection as the season progresses.