Worrying assessment as Red Bull rival makes F1 pecking order prediction

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso on the F1 starting grid. Miami May 2023.

Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso line up alongside each other for practice starts.

Despite expecting the performance between the 10 F1 teams to converge this season, Mike Krack has ruled out any “surprise” changes to the pecking order.

Although last season Aston Martin surged towards the front of the pack, Red Bull’s closest challenger in the early part of the championship, they fell to fifth as the season progressed.

Their 280 points were a vast improvement on 2022’s 55, but it was, at least from the outside looking in, a bit of a capitulation with the team conceding they got it wrong with their mid-season development path.

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But back on track in the final few rounds, Fernando Alonso secured his eighth and final podium for the season at the Brazilian Grand Prix before holding off Charles Leclerc to secure fourth place in the Drivers’ Championship.

The season ended with Red Bull comfortably on top of the teams’ standings with Mercedes and Ferrari bunched up in the fight for second and McLaren beating Aston Martin to fourth.

Krack reckons those numbers could be even closer this season – but don’t expect anyone to surge from seventh to second as Aston Martin did in the early part of 2023.

“When you have stable rules, the way we have it now, teams will rather go evolutionary,” he said as per Autosport.

“And if you have such a standout car, as we have with Red Bull, I think a lot of people will try to go in that direction.

“On the other hand, we have heard from Ferrari, from Mercedes, that they will make very big architectural changes. So, we are curious to see what that is going to bring.

“But I think all in all, if you look at it, usually what happens if the technical regs stay [the same] the field is moving closer together year on year.”

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Krack, though, reckons the convergence won’t be enough to swing any big surprises in F1’s pecking order.

“[The stability] is then also putting more emphasis on operations again because if the cars are close together, it’s really the small details that make the difference on the grid position,” added the Aston Martin team boss.

“[The tight gaps in qualifying] will only get smaller, I think, over the years to come.

“So, to come back to the original question: I will be surprised if there are big deviations to where we are now.”

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