Aston Martin’s Team Principal On Alonso And Stroll

Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso

Mike Krack, principal of Aston Martin in Formula 1, shared his thoughts on the team’s drivers, their future, and performance.

Fernando Alonso recently signed a new contract with them, extending his time at the Silverstone-based team — for how long exactly, we don’t know, but it’s said to be ‘multi-year’, meaning at least two years. The length of Lance Stroll’s contract is not public for quite some time now, so perhaps this secrecy doesn’t come as a huge surprise. After all, it seems to be a new trend in the world of F1 to not reveal many details regarding contracts — for instance, Lewis Hamilton’s deal with Ferrari is also said to be ‘multi-year’.

But back to the Aston Martin drivers, as Krack has something to say about both of them.

“Extending Fernando’s contract is a great boost to the team, and it’s been our target pretty much from his first day at Silverstone. We are very happy, Fernando’s a top driver.”

“One of the highlights of this for us is that Fernando sticks to his word. He told us that he needed to think seriously about his desire to continue and that if he did want to continue, he would talk to us first. He did exactly that.”

“Usually, in contract negotiations, there is a tactical element: references to teams with vacant seats or drivers on the market. We didn’t have any of that. The process was open, transparent and fair,” the team principal appreciates.

From this, it looks like negotiations indeed went smoothly and without unnecessary delays. Though, given the fact Alonso himself spoke about how happy he was and still is with the team, it does make sense. After all, when both sides are in agreement from the start, it’s much easier to sort out the details and focus on the future together.

What team wouldn’t want to keep such an accomplished and experienced driver, the two-time world champion certainly is.

On the other hand, in the discussion about Lance Stroll’s performance and abilities, the opinions are more split. The fact his father owns Aston Martin does raise questions for some people — though I have to remind those that Stroll does know how to shine when given the opportunity. Like yesterday’s free practice in China, where he finished on the top of the sheets.

In the interview for the team’s website, Mick Krack looked back to Stroll’s unfortunate weekend in Japan:

“Lance had a luckless weekend in Suzuka, right from the outset. The aero rake fitted to his car in the opening free practice session got damaged, which cost him a lot of time in the garage.”

“When he did get back out, he encountered a lot of traffic, as he was out of sync with others who were completing long runs, and then FP2 ended up being a washout with no opportunity for meaningful running. Pretty much everything went against him from the first moment.”

“It was a shame, but once again we saw Lance’s fighting spirit. It’s difficult to pass at Suzuka, it’s tight, it’s twisty, but somehow Lance pulled off some incredible overtakes in places you wouldn’t normally expect.”

“He missed out on a top-10 finish, but I am sure he will come away from Shanghai this weekend with a well-deserved haul of points.”

After the mentioned domination in FP1 on Friday, Stroll managed to get P15 in the Sprint Shootout, climbing up one place during the Sprint itself today and ending P14. Then, later on Saturday, he qualified P11 and will be starting tomorrow’s race just outside the point-scoring positions.

Meanwhile, his older teammate may have started the Sprint on P3 after a good Sprint Shootout, but because of contact with Carlos Sainz while battling for positions, he suffered a puncture and had to retire the car. Luckily, he was ready for qualifying and once again showed everybody that age is just a number and even at forty-two years, he’s very much able to challenge his younger rivals with P3. With this starting position, he’s definitely in the fight for the podium and who knows, maybe even a potential win.

Whatever happens, both drivers seem to have the team’s support and even Krack’s backing. At least for now. With rumours about Honda, who’s going to be Aston Martin’s engine supplier starting in 2026, liking the idea of having Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda on their team, it could yet be interesting.

Though, with Alonso signed for two years or more, and Stroll having strong family connections, I don’t see any shocking changes happening in Aston Martin’s line-up in the near future.

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