Aston Martin F1 team principal Mike Krack believes the British team is still on target to achieve its five-year plan to win the FIA Formula 1 World Championship. The second year of this plan was turbulent, to say the least. After the Austrian Grand Prix in July, Aston Martin was ninth out of the ten teams in the Constructors’ Championship. An uptick in performance later in the season helped Aston rise in the standings, but the Silverstone-based team missed out on sixth in the standings to Alfa Romeo on a tiebreaker. A marked improvement relative to the season’s start, but lightyears away from a 2025 championship victory.
Krack told Motorsport.com that Aston Martin’s recovery over the 2022 season was impressive, adding, “I think we have a lot of momentum, and you feel that spirit when you come in here. I think honestly, we have reason to believe we can continue on that path. So all good from that point of view.” Though, Krack also acknowledged that the team needs to keep moving up the field to achieve its goal. He said, “I think in year three, we need to see a clear improvement, a clear step in terms of performance, and yeah, I would say we’re on target.”
It’s painful to admit, but long-term planning is vital to success in Formula 1. The romanticized notion that a single sudden technical innovation could propel a team to the front of the field just isn’t true. The lack of parity in the world championship means that meaningful movement up and down the competitive order is measured in the period of seasons and not races. Teams must spend years preparing for a flashpoint, usually a significant change in technical regulations, to shift their fortunes drastically. The development work which won Mercedes the world championship in 2014 and the next seven years began when the FIA confirmed the 2014 F1 Technical Regulations in 2011.
Aston Martin has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in a massive new team factory and has also recruited experienced minds, like Krack, to help the team improve. On the other hand, Alpine has also completed the second year of its own five-year plan. Alpine’s plan came on the heels of Renault’s previous unsuccessful five-year plan. Will Aston Martin’s efforts actually pay off? Only time will tell.