Krack insists Aston Martin ‘know what we want to do’ for 2024 car after mid-season struggles with AMR23
Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack has opened up about the squad’s rollercoaster 2023 and expressed confidence that the lessons learned during their mid-season slump will make them stronger this year.
After finishing seventh in the 2022 constructors’ standings, Aston Martin were the surprise of the winter by emerging as Red Bull’s nearest challenger early in 2023 – new signing Fernando Alonso finishing on the podium in six of the opening eight races.
But as the season wore on, Mercedes and Ferrari both managed to overhaul Aston Martin, while impressive developments from McLaren at the midway point saw the Silverstone team eventually pushed back to fifth in the order.
Aston Martin did show signs of improvement as the year drew to a close, though, with Alonso returning to the podium in Sao Paulo, while the Spaniard and team mate Lance Stroll both scored points in the final three races.
In an interview for the Aston Martin F1 website, Krack reviewed the season gone by, how they dealt with the challenges and what the knock-on effect should be for the AMR24, which will be launched on February 12.
“For me, that period was challenging because there’s a need to understand what’s happening,” said Krack. “You have to zoom out and look at the bigger picture. Are others improving massively? Are we not progressing enough?
“You have to be honest in your assessments, ask yourself tough questions, form an understanding and then make sure everybody in the team also understands the situation, sticks together, and works through it.
“I said a few times, the goal for the rest of the season was to understand the car and reverse the trend. I thought if we could get back on the podium in the second half of the year, that would be a fantastic achievement. We did that twice – but everyone still wants more!”
As for how much Aston Martin learned about their 2023 challenger, Krack continued: “We did understand the car by the end of the season – but it would be wrong to say we understood absolutely everything about the AMR23.
“We understood a great deal, we know what we want to do for 2024 and the direction we need to go in with next year’s car – but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to turn up at the season-opener in Bahrain next year and be fighting for the race win.”
Despite his optimism, Krack knows Aston Martin face a significant challenge if they are to improve on fifth in the standings and get closer to the sharp end of the F1 grid – with the countdown now on to pre-season testing and the opening round.
“We’re up against formidable competitors, and the big question mark over the winter is always what kind of job other teams have done,” he said. “There’s a lot of nail-biting. You’re always asking yourself: ‘Have we done enough?’
“Whatever happens, it always results in the same loop: if the cars roll out and we haven’t done enough, then we have to work hard to improve. If we have done enough, then we have to work hard to improve further. That’s the only recipe that works in Formula 1.”