Aston Martin have struggled to maintain their status as the second-fastest team in F1 2023, team boss Mike Krack admitting they are “not geared up” yet to hang with their rivals in the development war.
Eyebrows were raised when Fernando Alonso decided to swap Alpine for Aston Martin in time for the F1 2023 campaign, Lawrence Stroll having been investing in his Aston Martin team to make them a future title-contending force, though a team that managed only P7 in last season’s Constructors’ Championship.
That decision has proven to be a masterstroke from Alonso though, who has claimed seven podium finishes across the campaign so far as he battles Lewis Hamilton over P3 in the Drivers’ Championship.
Aston Martin lacking tools to hang with top teams
However, while Aston Martin were regarded as the second-fastest team behind Red Bull through the early stages of F1 2023, that order has now become more distorted, with Mercedes and Ferrari having made gains, while McLaren has surged out of the midfield to surpass Aston Martin, who have now slipped to P4 in the Constructors’ Championship.
But, Krack says the point he made at the beginning of the season about the tough development war to come, which was “laughed” off, has now come to pass.
Put to him by Sky F1 that Aston Martin seem to have slipped away during F1 2023, Krack replied: “The morale is good, I can confirm, everybody is really giving the maximum all the time.
“But yeah, it’s an easier situation if you catch up than if you are hunted, but it is also something that we need to learn to handle as a team.
“I said after the first three, four races that this is going to be a hard development race and that we are still small and we’re not geared up to fight with the big teams.
“Everybody was laughing a little bit, but we see that the others are making progress.
“It shows us that also we have done a great step with the car in the beginning of the season. So we must not forget that either. So all in all, I think as a team, we can only learn from this and we really need to push hard until the end.”
And Aston Martin will continue to do that by introducing further upgrades for the AMR23 before F1 2023 comes to an end, though Krack also stressed the importance of maximising their performances, which in recent times he believes the team has failed to do.
Asked how Aston Martin will look to stay in form, with McLaren now on the hunt for their P4 spot, Krack replied: “Well, there’s two things here. One is the development. We try to bring updates going forward.
“But then also it’s a matter of always being 100 per cent, which we have not been all the time recently. And in the fight there, you have to be always at your maximum. And this operational side we really have to manage in the future for these coming challenges.
“You see we lost a day in Monza with Lance with Felipe [Drugovich] driving, but then losing the session, we lost a session at Zandvoort. These are all these little kinds of things that you need to have this data, you need to have this confidence and we cannot afford to have that.
“So, I would think that if you want to have a chance there where we want to be, then you have to have maximum results all the time.
“We have also some sprints, I think three more, so plenty of opportunities to do well.”
Aston Martin are now 72 points away from Mercedes in P2, with McLaren 78 points adrift in the battle for P4.