Aston Martin had made it no secret that they plan to compete for championships in Formula 1. The team has made substantial investments in new facilities, including a new factory and wind tunnel, and the team has recruited the services of two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso. It will take time before the team is able to compete with Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes, as they break into the midfield and look to finish higher up in the standings. But for now they are setting themselves immediate targets according to Team Principal Mike Krack, who spoke exclusively to RacingNews365.com about these goals. "We finished seventh last season, there is a chance that we finish sixth but only a small chance. We have to make a step next year, we have to improve," said Krack. "I think it would be quite blunt to say that we want to run at the very front [of the grid] - I think that would be overly ambitious and also unrealistic. But we do want to take that significant step next year. "But I think that with the steps we have already taken so far and with the recruitment of Fernando Alonso, we can make that happen." But what would he see as a 'significant step' after finishing P7 in the championship for the last two years? Krack explained: "We have seen this year the battle for fourth place in the World Championship [between Alpine and McLaren]. If we can enter that battle, it would be a step."
Does the father/son dynamic change things at Aston Martin?
Alonso will pair with Lance Stroll, who is of course the son of team owner Lawrence Stroll. It's unusual to have close family relations between drivers and team owners, a dynamic Krack says does not bring any additional challenges. "It's not bigger challenge than it is with any other driver. It's a normal thing, Lance assists his engineers, Sebastian assists his, then we discuss. But there is nothing really different." But what about team orders? Does this relationship mean that they get distributed differently? "Well this is also the same for every team," Krack responds. "Sometimes you have drivers on different strategies, drivers that can make a place [up] in the championship, I think it's important that you discuss these things upfront. "If you have two cars close to each other on different tyres, you know that they will meet at one point. We've seen in Baku with with the two McLaren's, they met each other a couple of times [on track]. "So I think it's super important to discuss this before and what's going to happen, then making the calls is quite easy in the race. "If you do not discuss it before, you have the discussion in the race. And these are normally much more emotional and public. So that's why you try to do your homework."