Aston Martin Team Principal Mike Krack says the team's successful start to 2023 is partly down to the input of the now-retired Sebastian Vettel.
The four-time World Champion moved to Aston Martin in 2021 after having been dropped by Ferrari, and though he showed flashes of brilliance, the German was unable to add to his 53 Grand Prix wins, with Aston Martin finishing only seventh in the Constructors' Championship during his two years with the team.
Vettel retired at the end of 2022 to be replaced by Fernando Alonso, and the Spaniard's arrival has coincided with a marked upturn in form for Aston Martin, who lie second in the 2023 Constructors' standings after three races, with Alonso scoring a hat-trick of podium finishes.
Though Vettel is no longer with the team, Krack paid tribute to his former driver, and noted that Aston Martin's increased competitiveness is partly down to four-time World Champion's influence in 2022.
"I think he has his merits in where the [AMR23] is today," Krack told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"We had many, many meetings last year where he gave us a hint: do this, or do that, or do not do this with the new car, so I think he has his merits in here."
However, Krack would not be drawn on whether he felt Vettel had retired too early, given Aston Martin’s subsequent upturn in fortunes.
"We have to respect the decision that he took," said Krack.
"He reflected for a long time before he made that decision, and he has to move on.
"If it's a shame for him [not to be driving the AMR23], I think you should ask him."
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Krack hails Alonso effect
Krack also hailed the positive effect that Alonso had had on the team since arriving from Alpine over the winter.
"He brought a lot of energy, a lot of positiveness when he arrived," said Krack.
"He is leading by example at all times. He's there very early, he's working really hard and it is this leading by example that everybody just sees and grabs on and gives an extra level of motivation."
Balve Baines is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the Australian Grand Prix.