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Aston Martin

Exclusive: The driver Aston Martin are making 'race ready' for F1 future

While Fernando Alonso has joined the Aston Martin team on a multi-year contract, the team are also keeping an eye on the future of other drivers under their wing, as boss Mike Krack exclusively tells RacingNews365.com.

Felipe Drugovich Abu Dhabi Test
To news overview © XPBimages

Mike Krack has revealed Aston Martin's driver plans for the future, with one of their aims being to make reserve driver Felipe Drugovich "race ready".

The team will have a new line-up for 2023 following the arrival of Fernando Alonso on a multi-year contract, with the Spaniard joining the incumbent Lance Stroll following the retirement of Sebastian Vettel.

Elsewhere, Drugovich and Formula E champion Stoffel Vandoorne will both act as reserve drivers, while former F1 star Pedro de la Rosa has taken on the position of Team Ambassador, in which he will fulfil a mixture of duties as well as supporting the Driver Development Programme.

In an exclusive interview with RacingNews365.com, team boss Krack has given a further insight into what the future holds for the team's drivers.

Aston Martin reveal target for Drugovich

In terms of Drugovich's development, Krack explained: "We will see how we develop the whole thing next year, whether we can run him in a previous car to prepare him, like [Oscar] Piastri did or like Lance did a couple of years ago, and then have maybe other appearances in practice [sessions]."

When asked if the long-term objective is to have the Formula 2 champion as a race driver, Krack suggested that preparing for this eventuality would be the objective.

"Yeah, I think we have to see how the situation works out now, and [see] what his possibilities [are]," he continued.

"At the moment, the target is clearly to develop him to be race ready, and then we will see how the situation goes next year."

In terms of whether either Drugovich or Vandoorne would be the 'number one' reserve driver if called upon, Krack says that this would depend on the circumstances.

"We have not really a number one reserve driver, number two reserve driver," the team boss added.

"We need to see. Both drivers will have also a programme besides [being a reserve driver] – Stoffell will be in Formula E, Felipe I think will also do a race programme.

"So we have to see who is available when, and we will decide accordingly."

Vandoorne's arrival helps to 'prepare'

With Vandoorne's arrival, Krack feels that the team will be well prepared should there be a repeat of past situations where main team drivers have been unable to race due to contracting COVID-19.

"We saw in the COVID times that we were really in trouble once or twice when we didn't have anyone there," Krack said.

"And then you have to make all these calls, 'Who do you have here? Who do you have here?'

"These last minute deals [are] disruptive for the whole organisation, so it is much, much better [if] you do your homework and you prepare properly, and you know where you are at.

"It's easier to rent a driver out than try to rent one from someone else, because it always comes with last minute hassles, which we want to completely avoid."

What about Vettel?

Following Vettel's exit from Aston Martin after two years with the team, Krack says they "haven't talked about" any plans to retain him in an ambassadorial role.

When quizzed on whether the German may regret his decision to walk away from the sport, Krack joked: "I hope so!

"I think he's an intelligent guy. He really balanced it, his decision, not only on our result at that time or his state of mind at the time, but I think, from a personality point of view, he's much more intelligent than that.

"So I think he did a long pro and con [list], and the process of getting there, to stop, was the longer one.

"[Maybe] he regretted maybe some moments, but I think his overall decision, he's comfortable with it."

Meanwhile, Krack has previously suggested that Alonso could continue to work with the squad in a non-driving role when he hangs up his helmet one day.

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