The racing team makes no secret of the fact that Aston Martin wants to compete for the world championship in Formula 1 in the near future. Lawrence Stroll didn’t buy the Force India team just to compete in the premier class, the Canadian businessman is too ambitious for that.
New team boss Mike Krack is convinced that Aston Martin will soon have all the ingredients to achieve the successes that other ambitious racing teams have been denied. The most important thing at the moment is the modernization of the infrastructure at Silverstone, which Krack describes as “enormous”.
“We will be state-of-the-art, which clearly shows the ambitions of Lawrence and the team,” emphasized Krack this week when he was introduced as team boss. “We have a five-year plan and will have all the tools and facilities to be successful,” he promises.
Five-year plans: Hardly anyone is successful
However, many fans should prick up their ears when it comes to the five-year plan. Aston Martin isn’t the first team to announce one. Very few have succeeded in implementing this. The most recent example is Renault, which returned to Formula 1 in 2016 with one of these.
Six years later they still haven’t gotten past midfield and have issued a new plan under their new Alpine name – the 100 race plan. Sounds different, but it’s basically the same.
“Yes, I agree that five-year plans don’t always work out because only one can win,” says Krack. “But like now, you often just have an interruption where you have to realign yourself with a new set of rules.”
But the Luxembourger sees an advantage in Aston Martin: although the name says it is a manufacturer, it is not the same as a large works team like Renault.
Lean management structure as an advantage
“We have a lean management structure and can make decisions very, very quickly and are very flexible,” he emphasizes. “So we have great opportunities. And we have a quick decision-making process. I think that’s an advantage that not everyone has.”
Back then, when Krack was still chief engineer there, BMW also had a five-year plan. But “it was handled very entrepreneurially, which we have to avoid here at all costs,” he emphasizes.
But that shouldn’t be a problem for Aston Martin and its management structure, he believes. “We have quite a lean leadership team, people with a lot of experience from different areas, finance, human resources, communications. So these are all people with a lot of experience and they know very well what steps we need to take,” says Krack.
“With the way we have divided the tasks, we are fast at the moment, we are flexible and we can react faster than others I think.”
Satisfactory Barcelona test
So far, Krack hasn’t had much of an impact on the team’s work, after all he’s only been part of the team since March 1st. The AMR22 was still under the direction of the old management, but made a solid impression during the test drives. The new team boss thinks so too: “The Barcelona test was pretty good,” he nods.
Despite the major rule changes, Aston Martin was able to complete many laps and seen good reliability apart from last afternoon when the team had to pack up early after a fire in Sebastian Vettel’s car.
“In that respect, the test was a success,” says Krack. “We had a few hiccups, like most teams, but that’s understandable when you see what we’ve changed. And we also have to remember that testing is exactly what testing is for. If we don’t learn there, we learn not at all.”
In Bahrain, Aston Martin will react to the experiences from Barcelona and bring the first updates for the new car. “Of course the time in between isn’t very long. Then there’s all the logistics to get everything to Bahrain. But we’re working hard to improve the car with what we’ve learned.”