Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack warns playing catch-up is not easy these days in light of the budget cap while upgrading the car is only “relative” to what their rivals do.
After last year’s struggles, the Silverstone team taking a leap of faith in introducing a B-spec car, Aston Martin have built on that Red Bull-esque design to create a top-three car in this year’s ARM23.
Thrice on the podium with a hat-trick of P3s for Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin have emerged as Red Bull’s closest rival not only on the track but in the standings.
But with Red Bull’s advantage on the track all but guaranteeing them a 1-2 result barring complications, such as Sergio Perez’s pit lane start in Australia, Krack acknowledges that making up points isn’t easy with Red Bull on track to grab the majority.
As such he’s appreciating the fact Aston Martin have made a flying start to their season to eke out a nine-point advantage over Mercedes, 39 up on Ferrari.
The team boss, though, admits he’s wary of Aston Martin’s chances of maintaining their advantage as, having begun the season well ahead of last year’s car, they have less scope to improve.
“In a cost cap environment, with such intensity of racing, you have to start with a good car, because to play catch-up along the year – and if you are down on points, as we have seen last year – it’s quite impossible, because there was not much to score,” he said as per The Race.
“Even if you had the fourth-fastest car last year, you were just not scoring enough to make up for any gaps.
“So we have managed last year to develop the car substantially. Now we start obviously from a higher baseline. So it will be not as easy as it was last year.
“But we have to make progress to stay where we are because if you don’t do anything, we will go back.
“So I’m quite confident that we can bring performance upgrades onto the car. But because everything is relative, only time will tell if this is sufficient or not.”
Although Aston Martin have made massive strides forward this season, the German team boss says it is the same “very dedicated team” as it was last season.
“You will be surprised, it’s not that different, you know, because we have a very dedicated team that is always trying to achieve the maximum wherever they are,” he said.
“So the approach is not that much different.”
He does, however, admit that racing at the sharp end of the grid they are “much more exposed” should any mistakes play out on a race weekend.
He added: “If we make mistakes on pit stops or on strategy, it is maybe spotted more than it would potentially have been before.
“But other than that the job itself is not very different.
“It’s easier to speak about three podiums than what we spoke about 12 months ago That was very difficult.”