Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack wants to see Fernando Alonso challenge the team to try and help push them forward next season.
The two-time World Champion will head to the team next season on a multi-year deal to replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel, after the Spaniard and Alpine reached a sticking point in their negotiations regarding the length of his deal.
Aston Martin were quickly willing to offer Alonso what he had been after, agreeing a move in a matter of days after Vettel’s retirement announcement.
Despite staying at Alpine being Alonso’s initial preferred option, he will want to hit the ground running with Aston Martin next year, and the team principal hopes to see the team challenged to make the most of their potential.
Krack said to Sky F1: “Well, he’s a champion. There is a reason why they are [champions] and it is because they are very competitive.
“They are asking the right questions, they are pushing the teams to the limit, and we feel, for us, it’s important to have someone like that to ask some also uncomfortable questions.
“And it pushes us one step further. So I think for the team, it is the right thing to have people like that.”
Alonso still appears to be at the top of his game behind the wheel in Formula 1, and will break a milestone in Singapore when he becomes the first driver ever to reach 350 Grand Prix starts.
Krack said finding someone with as much speed and longevity in Formula 1 as Alonso is a rare phenomenon, so he will be a key part of their future plans.
“Well, first of all, Fernando is super fast, and I think that is the first criteria,” he explained of the team’s reasoning behind bringing Alonso in.
“Then he’s very hungry, very competitive. And normally, with his amount of experience, it’s very difficult to have that so we are, I think, privileged that we have this combination of experience and competitiveness and speed.
“So I think he will do great things with us and I think it will be not right to say now which position we will end up, but I think he’s the right driver for our journey to make this a front running team.”
How can Fernando Alonso help Aston Martin?
Alonso is not known for being a wallflower when it comes to putting his opinions across within a team, which in turn should help give Aston Martin a perhaps-much-needed shake-up heading into next season.
Given how much the team have fallen behind compared to their previous challengers, it is clear that their new hires and ongoing facility construction have not quite ‘gelled’ together just yet.
When that happens, they will feel confident that car performance will eventually follow – and Alonso will be a key part in the process.
He will most likely enjoy the prospect of helping develop a car to his liking almost from scratch, to a degree, and his influence has always been a significant one wherever he has been in his career.
Alonso could prove to be the missing piece Aston Martin need, but only time will tell.