Mike Krack said his Aston Martin team can not afford to look ahead to the 2023 season too much as there is still work to do this campaign.
Of all the teams whose standing in the Constructors’ Championship does not reflect their budget, it is perhaps Aston Martin who remain the biggest outlier.
With Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll backing them, Aston Martin have one of the larger budgets on the track but that has, as of yet, failed to translate to on-track results.
They are second last in the Constructors’ standings, ahead of only Williams, and the best result they have achieved in 2022 is Sebastian Vettel’s P6 in Azerbaijan.
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Sebastian Vettel has plenty of offers on the table but he may choose to leave sport entirely and focus on off-track issues.
With the season now past the halfway point there have been suggestions the team should write off 2022 and focus all their development on next season but team principal Krack says that is not an avenue they are pursuing.
“I think it would be too easy to write the car off or to write this season off but I think that would be an excuse somehow – ‘We’re focusing now on the new one’ – and I think that would be not correct,” Krack said, as per GPFans.com.
“Especially if we were to have a substantial rule change [coming] as we have had [for this year], then it’s something that you could discuss. But now the rules are not changing dramatically.”
“But let’s say the regulations stay largely the same. I think what you learned this year, you can carry [over]. If we can afford it, I would like to develop the car until the last race.
“But, obviously, you must also start with a new one. You cannot go flat out on this one and completely neglect the other one.
One for the history books. 💚
Throwing back to the moment Sebastian Vettel took the wheel of 'Green Pea' – the original @astonmartin Grand Prix car from 1922 – for a flying lap that saw it return to the track 100 years after its racing debut.pic.twitter.com/Z2vW5yVJYq
— Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) August 18, 2022
“At the moment, it is a parallel path. We have one group working on the new car, one group working on the current car. We will not stop now because we cannot finish like we are now.”
However, speaking on the Beyond the Grid podcast, Krack admitted there is little a team can do once the car rolls out of the garage in March.
“The main difference you do [is] with how your car rolls out of the factory in March or in February,” he explained.
“And after this, there is only a limited amount of development that you can do. you can turn it around, but it is very hard to turn it around. Because we have so many races we have budget cap now as well. So I think as soon as we have a quick car, we are very quickly on target. And if not, it’s going to stay difficult.”
Is Mike Krack in it for the long haul at Aston Martin?
When Aston Martin were faced with the departure of long-serving team principal Otmar Szafnauer, they needed to act quickly. The man that Stroll chose was Krack.
He arrived with a varied CV including stints in Formula E, Formula 3 and DTM but this represented his toughest task yet. He finds himself as the captain of a ship attempting to sail from the back of the grid to the front of it.
It is year two now of Stroll’s five-year plan for world domination but Krack was unable to answer if he saw himself still at the helm come the end of it.
“I was very honoured to be asked to do this, I think it’s a huge challenge,” Krack told the Beyond the Grid podcast. “I think I’m not even seeing how big the whole thing is that we are with what we are doing here. So I had an humble approach to the whole thing.
“Knowing that this is a big, big task for all of us, I do not want to put myself there under any kind of time constraint or time pressure, because it will always come different anyway to how you plan it.
“So I plan now in a way that it doesn’t really matter if I stay one year, two years or 10. It’s not only about me, it’s the whole organisation is the whole team and that is much more important.”
While the rather open-ended answer may raise the eyebrows of Stroll, Krack did at least confirm he was not going anywhere just yet.
“But I have no intention to leave, if that is your question.” he clarified.