Aston Martin on F1 updates: “You must avoid bringing upgrades for the sake of bringing upgrades”

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Picture Credits Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team

Team Principal for Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team, Mike Krack, spoke prior to the summer break about how his team intends to approach the remainder of the 2023 F1 season when racing resumes. Having achieved six podiums already this year Krack is determined that it is too early to simply put all focus and resources onto 2024 as when it comes to development for this year “we are not switching off the tap.”


The first 8 races of the 2023 F1 season were far more impressive by Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team than some of the more recent Grands Prix. Having had such a strong start to the season but gone off the pace in recent months, the team finds themselves in P3 and fifty-one points behind a resurgent Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team. Not only this but having been best of the rest early on thanks to the talent of Fernando Alonso, it is now one of the Spaniard’s former teams, Scuderia Ferrari, which is breathing down the neck of Aston Martin as they are just 5 points behind.


However, a strong showing at Spa-Francorchamps saw Fernando Alonso finish P5 and his teammate Lance Stroll come home in P9. This double points finish was ‘very, very positive for the team’ according to Aston Martin’s Team Principal Mike Krack. All the more impressive as it came from the team better understanding the current AMR23 setup as opposed to having added major upgrades for Spa.

With the second half of the season still to come, Krack has promised that there will still be upgrades as “we are not switching off the tap.” However, he also cautioned against just bringing upgrades to the AMR23 without a clear vision in mind. 


“It is true, you know, you must avoid bringing upgrades for the sake of bringing upgrades because that is very easy and then it breaches cost cap money. So, it is very important that you understand what you’re doing before you do it and I think it is also credit to a lot of people. We have to wait, yeah, maybe wait even more to understand rather than just throwing it in.” Krack explained.


Mike Krack shared these thoughts on the development of the AMR23 during the weekend of the Belgian Grand Prix prior to the summer break. Krack was reminded that in the first few races of the season he had indicated that there would be more development in the second part of the season. With that in mind, he was asked as to whether the team had a ‘silver bullet’ in their pocket still to come?


“The magic bullet? I wish I could confirm that. No.” Krack quipped in reply. “I mean we have set up a plan, a development plan, and it was based on continuously developing the car and we follow that. Obviously, you need to see what directions you take depending on what happens but I think all in all, you know, we have the development race as I said from the beginning of the season but also we have now an opportunity after nine races, or 11, 12 races to take a point.


“We have 10 times more points than we had at this stage last time. We are P3 in the championship and so you know the expectations rise obviously with your results but you also must not forget where you come from. So, you know in all the push, push, push for development we also have to realise that OK, we have made big steps and that it is important, you know, to also zoom out and see what you have achieved.” Krack stated.


This pragmatic response from the man leading the charge at Aston Martin is a reminder of the rapid progress which his team has made. Even if they went off the boil so to speak in the last few races before Spa, the difference a year on is clear to see and should not be ignored.


Mike Krack also reminded the journalists in attendance in Belgium that he had always predicted such an improvement from his rivals would arrive this season.


“I always said in the beginning of the year when we had podium, podium, podium, I always said that there would be more difficult times and they came much quicker than we wanted them to come. But this is the reality of Formula One, it’s very competitive and as soon as, you know, like other people are also developing hard, you see a change in pecking order and just to stay where you are needs an incredible amount of work. It shows that everybody is pushing really hard and flat out so we knew that it was going to not be easy all season. And as I said, I wish we could have had this only in the last three.” Krack concluded.


The development race is a hotly contested one and Mike Krack is not the kind of person to reveal his hand.

“All the races have upgrades, you will have a look at the list for Zandvoort and you will read something.”

Whatever upgrades follow this season, it is clear that they will not be knee-jerk reactions or with a short term improvement in mind. Mike Krack explained his philosophy when it comes to any changes which will be made to the AMR23: “It is about keeping what you have and trying to solve what you have introduced. So, sometimes they’re small, the changes that you need, and sometimes they are bigger and it is important to understand all that.”


Aston Martin clearly understand that they have a fight on their hands to at least remain P3 in the Constructors’ Championship and then having any chance of battling Mercedes for the runner up spot. Of course, with Fernando Alonso at the wheel of your car (and an ever-improving Lance Stroll) anything is possible. Meanwhile, we shall keenly wait to see what is on the list at Zandvoort as the Aston Martin development tap intends to keep dripping in 2023 for some time yet to come.