Aston Martin Team Principal Mike Krack believes the team controls its own Constructors' Championship destiny despite fears it is a 'sitting duck' against F1 rivals McLaren.
Silverstone-based Aston Martin began the year as Red Bull's nearest challenger as Fernando Alonso quickly amassed six podiums but with rivals Mercedes and Ferrari finding improvement with their cars, the British manufacturer has slipped down the pecking order.
Since the Austrian Grand Prix, however, McLaren has been a revelation as its own upgrades transformed what had been a hugely disappointing season for Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri into consistent podium contenders - the Australian securing victory in the Qatar Grand Prix Sprint.
The turnaround in form has seen McLaren eat into Aston Martin's advantage for fourth in the Constructors' standings and when asked if he felt his team was a 'sitting duck' with the gap down 11 points with five rounds remaining, Krack told media including RacingNews365.com: "No, you always have the destiny in your own hands.
"You have to try and improve the car, which we still try to do, then try to fight as hard as we can."
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Great learning exercise
Aston Martin's upgrades have fallen short of the impact made by its rivals' own performance updates and, in recent times, set-up difficulties have emerged.
On whether having Alonso's extreme driving style to cater for was damaging the quest for solutions to the set-up problems, Krack replied: "I think at the end of the day, you normally do not go in such small detail in terms of understanding [the car].
"In our case, when you have difficulties, you normally learn more and you go into much more detail than you would do - it is just a normal thing.
"We have gone through a great learning exercise in that regard."