Aston Martin’s Mike Krack has made an indirect criticism of how Alpine handed Fernando Alonso last season, refusing to entertain talk that age could influence the Spaniard’s performance. The 51-year-old is confident the Double World Champion can maintain the speed shown in 2023.
Negotiations between Alonso and Alpine were drawn out and unsuccessful, with both sides unwilling to compromise.
Laurent Rossi, who oversaw negotiations, seemed adamant that a two-year contract was off the table. Taking into account the moments of brilliance produced by the #14 car, this was seen as unacceptable.
Alonso believed that he’d earned a multi-year contract with team Enstone, especially since teammate Esteban Ocon was offered a four-year contract the year prior.
Although the specificities of these negotiations can be analysed in detail, one thing is clear. Age, particularly in interviews with Otmar Szfnauer, was consistently mentioned as a determining factor.
However, this perspective is not shared by Mike Krack:
“I think we also have to change our mentality a little. That thought today [that age impacts performance] – I think – is enormously overrated,” es.motorsport.com quotes him as saying.
“We’re not even talking about that [Alonso’s age]. It’s you.
“You already know we have two drivers who are very focused, and we don’t really think about it.
“It was lucky for us that his previous team created a great story with that theme, right? That was what made it easier for us.”
Few could dispute that Alonso’s switch to Aston Martin – though not his first choice – was an inspired move.
Dan Fallows and the other engineers at Silverstone built upon the ‘b-spec’ Aston Martin introduced at the 2022 Spanish GP – producing the second-fastest car for round one in Bahrain.
Although the AMR23 has regressed throughout the year, a total of seven podiums in fourteen races is certainly an impressive achievement.
Alpine, meanwhile, must find stability in a campaign characterised by big-name firings and minimal development.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang