Aston Martin boss Mike Krack says the team cannot afford to make another slow start to a Formula 1 season, as it shifts its focus to its 2023 package.
Aston Martin had a dire start to the 2022 campaign with its launch-spec car as it failed to score a point from the opening three grands prix, leaving it at the foot of the championship.
Its drivers also initially struggled with the handling and feedback of the car, leading to a sequence of accidents, with the nadir being reached in a lacklustre weekend in Australia.
Aston Martin has made gains through the season, having introduced a sizeable upgrade package in Spain, but remains towards the rear of the midfield group.
“Although we must continue to improve the performance of the AMR22 and we have a small group of people still working on it, we’ve already turned our attention to the AMR23,” said Krack.
“Our focus has been on AMR23 for a while now because the car needs to perform right out of the box.
“A new season and new car represent the biggest opportunity to move ahead of our competitors.”
Krack believes that Aston Martin’s development through 2022 has been underappreciated but acknowledged the situation has been masked by its slow start.
“We’ve made significant upgrades to the car throughout the first part of the season, but it’s all relative,” he said.
“People assume the upgrades haven’t worked because we haven’t climbed up the competitive order, but the upgrades have worked – just not enough for us to catch up.
“We brought a major upgrade package to the Spanish Grand Prix – new sidepods, floor, engine cover, modifications to the front suspension – and enough parts in time so both cars could run in the latest specification.
“I’ve never seen anything like that. It was an extraordinary effort from everyone in the team.”
I have a sneaking suspicion that the biggest problem with this team are the current drivers. Time will tell if I am right or not.
I suspect it’s hamstringing their designers by insisting they try to make a copy of whichever car is leading. Obviously, everyone tries to pick up on details they can apply to their own car, but that’s the crux, their own car. If they just produce lookalikes, chances are they don’t know why they’re doing it that way. Whether it came from the former Team Principal (who now seems to have got Alpine into a bit of a mess after not very much time in the job) or higher up the chain of command is, as you say, a matter of time will tell. The new principal needs to have a Krack at doing it a bit differently.