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Aston Martin's new team boss: We have all the ingredients to win

Aston Martin's new team boss, Mike Krack, has been speaking to members of the media for the first time since landing his new role.

Mike Krack has big boots to fill at Aston Martin as he arrives to replace Otmar Szafnauer, the man who had led the Silverstone team through multiple eras of its history, but Krack feels confident about what the team can achieve going forwards. Under Szafnauer's watchful eye, not only did the British outfit manage to stay in Formula 1 (under multiple titles) but they thrived, developing a welcome habit of snatching podium finishes from the big teams. Their day in the sun came under the name Racing Point, when Sergio Perez led them to not just a race win but a double podium at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. Now the Silverstone team are stepping into a new era as Aston Martin F1 - and the Szafnauer days are over, with his departure from the team confirmed earlier in the year. Their new state-of-the-art headquarters, factory and windtunnel - the first all-new factory built by an F1 outfit for nearly two decades - will soon be complete, and owner Lawrence Stroll's push to hire the best of the best has been ongoing for a number of months. Martin Whitmarsh, formerly of McLaren, joined the team as CEO back in October, before Mercedes' chief aerodynamicist Eric Blandin joined one month later. Now Krack is the latest piece of the puzzle, arriving as Team Principal ahead of the new 2022 season. Krack, 49, was headhunted by an Aston Martin impressed by his CV. He has held high positions at both BMW and Porsche and, during his time as Chief Engineer at BMW Sauber, once worked closely with a young Sebastian Vettel, now Aston Martin's more experienced driver. He left Formula 1 in 2008 when BMW made the decision to focus on their 2009 campaign, sacrificing what could have been an F1 title win for Robert Kubica in the process. But now he is back to what he calls the Champions League of motorsport - and adds that F1 is unrecognisable to where it was the day he walked away.

F1 changes so much in a year, let alone 12

Despite his close relationship with Vettel, Krack did not speak to the four-time F1 World Champion before making his decision to join Aston Martin with the interview process kept so secretive that he was unable to. Vettel has changed an awful lot since Krack last worked with him, but, 53 race wins later, the pair are now back together again. However, Vettel has not changed anywhere near as much as the sport has in that time, now owned by US giants Liberty Media and re-introduced to the world every year by the latest instalment of its award-winning Netflix series, Drive to Survive. There was no predicting that turn of events back in 2008. "I think it is very positive what happened [since] with Liberty," Krack made clear, speaking to the media. "If you see how fan base and how the audience has increased over the last years, it's just incredible and I think this is largely the merit of liberty. "To compare it to F1 when I left, to be honest with you, it is not comparable. It has evolved so much here. Even one year in F1 is an eternity! When you look back at old Grands Prix from 2009 or 2010, it's not only the cars that look old fashioned but the whole system. "I think Liberty has already delivered great achievements and I think there will come more." Krack also reflected on the idea of spectacle in Formula 1. "It is more oriented to the show but I think this is what the spectator wants," he admitted, perhaps stumbling on a sensitive topic given some of the difficult questions the sport asked itself following last season's title finale in Abu Dhabi. "From that point of view, I think they do a fantastic job, to be honest."

Aston Martin have "all the ingredients" to win in F1

But while Formula 1 is looking to the future, Aston Martin's return has offered a slice of nostalgia, with British racing green now back on the grid. Krack's job now is to lead the team into a title fight with Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull by providing Vettel and younger teammate Lance Stroll with a car capable of winning races. His boss has already spoken of his five-year plan, a plan not to dominate the sport but to be good enough to at least fight for the sport's ultimate prize. Many have tried and failed, but Aston Martin mean business and are doing all they need to do to ensure their plan is as fail-proof as can be in the unpredictable world of Formula 1. "I think Formula 1 is like Champions League, and every professional football player wants to play Champions League. It's the same for motorsport engineers or drivers," said Krack, who now drives to work in a classy Aston Martin DB11 company car. "From that point of view, it's the ultimate place to be. The pressure is there but I think you have to turn that into positive pressure. We want to succeed, we have to succeed. We spend so much time and so much money, that's not for coming second or just for participating. "Now, obviously, you cannot switch and be winning from the first day of a season, others have tried and for very long. "But at the end of the day, it's a huge challenge but it's also a huge opportunity there that we have now. And with that brand, with the Aston Martin brand, I think we have all the ingredients that you need to be successful."

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