Aston Martin's Mike Krack singled out the Mexico City Grand Prix weekend for how a perceived long-standing Fernando Alonso trait 'flipped' in 2023.
Alonso is known as being extremely harsh on his team for under-deliverance of performance, with the most infamous coming at the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix where he declared Honda's power unit to be a "GP2 engine" at its home track as McLaren struggled.
He was also super-critical of Alpine's lack of reliability in 2022 before moving to Aston Martin for 2023, where he finished fourth in the standings in his best season since finishing runner-up to Sebastian Vettel in 2013.
In Mexico, the AMR23 suffered a severe lack of pace throughout the weekend, with Alonso eventually retiring as team-mate Lance Stroll also posted a non-score.
Krack felt the togetherness showed by the drivers post-race was commendable - and pointed that he believed drivers from other teams would not have been so courteous through the media when reacting to the weekend.
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Krack reflects on drivers
"I am full of admiration for the drivers this year. They've made us a better team," Krack explained.
"I think you find out more about their character in the tough races, and Mexico was a good example.
"After that race, they were constructive in the briefings and stuck by us when talking to the media. They could have been really negative in the press – and we would have deserved it for failing to give them a competitive car that weekend – but neither did.
"Instead, both expressed their faith in the long-term goals and journey we're on. For me, that stands out.
"In other teams, you often see drivers going to the media to shift blame for poor results onto the team. Lance and Fernando haven't adopted that mentality.
"It isn't the drivers and the team here; the drivers are part of the team. I think in this regard, we're perhaps a little bit different from our competitors."
Stroll endured a tricky run of form in the heart of the season, but rallied towards the end, including a pair of fifth-places in Brazil and Las Vegas - with Krack praising the Canadian's resilience.
"Lance is in a great place. He's relaxed and self-confident. You can see it in his body language," said Krack.
"He had the injury pre-season, which put him on the back foot, but he showed real grit and determination to get back behind the wheel as quickly as possible. And, despite all he had been through, he was still very fast.
"Then, later in the season, he came back fighting after a tough phase. He had a lot of pressure to deal with and handled it with a lot of assurance.
"I wish the season would have been a bit longer for him because he's been really fast in the final rounds. We can build on that.
"That's what needs to happen now, he just needs to pick up where he left off this season. He's overcome many challenges this year and now he's very much on the up."