Krack: Alonso is an old fox

Krack: Alonso is an old fox

Krack: Alonso is an old fox

Mike Krack, Aston Martin’s Team Principal, hailed Fernando Alonso and the added value he brings to the team, not only in terms of performance but also the tricks he has up his sleeve.

The 2024 Formula 1 season is Alonso’s 21st in the sport, a long career that started with back-markers Minardi in 2001 and that including a two-year sabbatical – 2019 and 2020.

The double F1 Champion has driven 380 grands prix and now at the age of 42, he doesn’t seem to be slowing down, delivering exceptional performances with Aston Martin F1 in terms of experience and race craft.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, Krack revealed the value of having a driver like Alonso in the fold which is not limited to his on track performance but also within the team and behind the scenes.

“We’ve seen that last year already when he joined,” Krack began. “It’s not only what he brings in terms of proven talent and racecraft; that, I think, we don’t have to discuss.

“He brings this extra to the team, driving and pushing and motivating everybody. And leading by example, from the first moment in the morning to late at night, which is exemplary.

“And this is something that is infecting the whole team, that is something that you want to preserve,” the Aston Martin TP maintained.

Krack gave a recent example of how Alonso’s experience helps elevate the team’s performance. In the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the Spaniard radioed the team asking for a “Plan B” while trying to fend off the challenge of Mercedes’ George Russell.

“He asked for the Plan B, basically. ‘Is there a Plan B?'” Krack recalled. “Fernando is always teasing you.

“You have to be careful if he’s really honest about it, because he knows all the strategies before, he knows where all the field is. And sometimes he maybe does it even on purpose, because he knows the competitors are listening. So he’s an old fox.

Alonso was on top of the situation in Jeddah

“But he always wakes us up. As soon as you think for one lap you can read it, there comes a radio call, and he says, ‘What about Plan B?’, like Fernando always does. So we then had a look at the Plan B, but you will not finish where you finish with Plan B,” he explained.

“It was quite strong,” Krack said of Alonso’s defense against Russell. “We knew George [Russell] was behind, he had good speed, and we did not want to let him into the DRS. So it was all the time between 1.5 and 1.0 seconds in between them.

“And then it is always how much do I manage, and how much do I push to get to the end? But I think he managed it like probably nobody else can. I don’t know where he got the gaps from. In my opinion he was always on top of the situation,” 52-year-old insisted.

Alonso is on his final year of his current contract with Aston Martin, with a seat open at Mercedes in 2025 due to Lewis Hamilton’s departure to Ferrari, an opportunity the 2005 and 2006 F1 Champion has not ruled out.

But Krack insists Aston Martin’s priority is to retain Alonso’s services, he said: “It’s not a secret that he first of all wants to decide for himself what he wants to do. And I think it’s also not a secret that I keep saying that we want to continue working with Fernando.

“And I also said that the most important thing is that we give him a quick car. So that he believes in this project, and that he believes in this team, and everything else we will have to discuss over the weeks to come.

“Now, it is clear that a driver of that calibre is attractive for everybody, but we will try to keep him,” Krack concluded.

Alonso is yet to finish on the podium in 2024, Aston Martin having a slower start to their season compared to 2023 when he bagged eight podiums for the team.