Aston Martin boss quizzed on future title targets as team fall behind rivals

Henry Valantine
Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso in action in practice in Canada

Fernando Alonso in action in practice in Canada

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack believes there is “no reason to be negative” about the team’s progress, having fallen back in the order compared to this time last year.

Aston Martin were the surprise package of last season after a flying start to 2023, but have dropped back to fifth place in the Constructors’ standings this year as they stand, with team owner Lawrence Stroll having invested heavily in making the Silverstone team title contenders in the years to come.

Aston Martin boss: ‘We have a plan in place’ for continued F1 progress

With a new factory now built and operational at Silverstone and a significant growth in the team’s staffing numbers since Stroll’s takeover of the former Racing Point team, then-team principal Otmar Szafnauer had said at the launch of the team’s 2021 car that they had been hoping to challenge for World Championships within five years, with Honda Racing president Koji Watanabe having matched Stroll’s ambition to be title challengers in the 2026 season in a recent interview.

With Stroll and the team’s investors having spent on infrastructure and an expansion of the team, that initial target draws closer – but Krack explained that overall trajectory can go up and down, dependent upon the performance of the team’s rivals.

With that five-year time period put to him in Canada, he defended where the team currently stand, looking ahead to the future factory power unit partnership they will have with Honda from 2026 and pointing to his belief that others may be “judging sometimes a little bit too quickly” when performance does not go as expected.

But after their success last season, he acknowledged that expectations have risen within the Aston Martin ranks.

“Last year at this time, you said you are much ahead of the plan, now we are much behind the plan. So I think, if you zoom out, you have to really see, you know, is there progress as a team?” Krack said to reporters in response to being asked if he was ‘concerned’ about where Aston Martin currently stand compared to their rivals, after being reminded of the ultimate aim to be a front-running team.

“I think last year, we were obviously better than we were thinking, and I always said on a trajectory up, it will go up, it will go down depending on what your competitors are doing – but you have to keep the target in sight.

“And at the end of the day, it’s not only season on season, we are judging also race by race.

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“So, we are judging sometimes a little bit too quickly on the performance of the team or the performance of an upgrade, or the performance of the car in general and especially also the drivers, we are judging very quickly.

“Now, when you look at trends you can be positive, or you can be negative about it – it’s like with the stock exchange market.

“So I think we have a plan in place. We develop the team from an infrastructure point of view.

“From the way we are developing, we have great partners coming with Honda, we have a great partner with Aramco, so I think there’s no reason to be negative.

“You will recall that I always say that we have to be careful with putting such plans in.

“Progress is not always linear and, also, the closer you come to the front, the tougher it gets.

“That is not an excuse. We are a team, so that’s fine and, to be honest, we have to face these questions if we put these statements out.

“So all in all, I think I’m happy with the way the team develops. And I think also in the development of the team, you have to go through more difficult periods as well, you know, and the expectation level is much, much higher this year, because of last year, and that is something we have to go through.”

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