Aston Martin see improvements after ‘catastrophic’ first three races

Jamie Woodhouse
Aston Martin mechanics work on Sebastian Vettel's car. Hungaroring July 2022.

Aston Martin mechanics work on Sebastian Vettel's car at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Hungaroring July 2022.

Aston Martin principal Mike Krack described the first three races of the season as “catastrophic”, but feels the situation is turning around.

Under the watchful eye of team owner Lawrence Stroll, Aston Martin are a Formula 1 team with grand plans on making it to the front of the grid over the coming seasons.

The regulatory reset for 2022 was a golden opportunity, though Aston Martin very much stumbled out of the blocks, needing until the fourth round to open their account for the season.

Krack did not hide the disappointment of those opening three races, though has seen signs since then that Aston Martin are heading in the right direction, now placing his team behind Alpine and McLaren who are battling at the front of the midfield.



For much of the season qualifying has been Aston Martin’s “Achilles heel” as Sebastian Vettel termed it, though Lance Stroll did make it into Q3 last time out at Zandvoort, finishing the race P10 to score a point.

That made it eight points finishes in the last nine races for the Silverstone outfit.

“I think you cannot deny if you look at the pace in qualifying here we have made a small step,” said Krack, as per “But also if you look at the pace in the races, and the scoring that we have, we have improved.

“The first three races were catastrophic, I think. But we fought our way a little bit back, but we need to score things a little bit higher than we have done. We’ve managed to slip probably behind Alpine and McLaren.

“I think consistently, we can be in contention for the sixth-fastest. But there are no points for the sixth fastest [car].”

To that point, while it was a top 10 finish for Stroll in Zandvoort, it yielded only one point, with Krack clear that Aston Martin want to reach a higher level than this.

Aston Martin remain P9 in the Constructors’ Championship, though have now closed to within nine points of Haas in P7.

“I mean, it could be much more frustrating if you finish 15th,” said Krack, referring to Stroll’s P2 in Zandvoort. “Now, obviously always when we are there, there is nobody of the frontrunners that have an issue.

“So again, we have the top six cars finishing, we have both Alpines and one McLaren finishing ahead with Lando [Norris] and we are the next ones.

“If you recall also what I said is we need to get in front of this group. And this we have managed in the meantime. And we need to keep it up like that.

“We have started also a bit further forward this time on merit. I think we can still score in the races to come. But it’s not nice again to have only one point.”

Nonetheless, Krack does not want to completely overlook these low-points finishes, as he heaped praise on the race team for their ability to capitalise on any opportunities in order to keep picking up these scores.

“I think everybody’s really highly motivated. The general thing was we give the maximum again, next week, we go for it again, and we need to score,” he said.

“There is such a positive spirit in the team, both in Silverstone and at the race track. It’s not easy against us, if we have the same speed car.

“I think our race team is very good on strategy, in terms of tyre management, and also getting the set-up right. We have also improved the car. I mean, it will be unfair to put now everything onto the race team.

“The car has improved over the last events, clearly. And we hope we can improve it further. Next race is obviously a bit of an outlier with Monza. But I think when it gets tight, I think that our race team does quite a good job, honestly.

“This helps us also to get these scores all the time, even if they are frustrating scores.”

Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel on track during the Hungarian Grand Prix. Budapest, July 2022.
Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel on track during the Hungarian Grand Prix. Budapest, July 2022.

Aston Martin are under a lot of pressure for 2023

Finally there are now signs that Aston Martin are steering themselves back onto the right path, though when their ambitions are combined with the acquisitions that the team has made, it means a lot more is expected of Aston Martin going forward.

As well as the investment into a new factory and windtunnel, Aston Martin have also been on a hefty recruitment drive for new staff, the likes of Red Bull’s former aero chief Dan Fallows, ex-McLaren Racing CEO Martin Whitmarsh and Krack himself all picked up. And from 2023, the notoriously demanding two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso will be Stroll’s team-mate.

It really does seem then that the ingredients are there to cook up the kind of success which Aston Martin want, so leading the midfield pack in 2023 will likely be the very least expected.