Speaking “truth” the only way to handle Alonso/Stroll, says Aston Martin F1 boss

The Silverstone-based squad knew it would be more in the spotlight throughout 2023 following the signing of two-time F1 world champion Alonso to race alongside Stroll. 

While it was well aware of the potential for difficulties with Alonso being so demanding of the teams he races for, the squad had no doubts about the way it needed to manage things. 

Team principal Mike Krack explained that, ahead of Alonso’s arrival, there had been a lot of internal discussions about how best to deal with the new situation the team found itself in. But he said in the end the approach it needed was pretty straightforward. 

Speaking exclusively to Autosport about the team’s mindset of handling the drivers, Krack said: “We have a particular situation, obviously, because one of the drivers is the son of the owner and the other is an experienced mature driver. So, you need to think: what are the dynamics and how are they going to be evolving?  

“When Fernando joined us, many people were warning us he can be difficult, so we tried to prepare ourselves. We had to think, what is our approach – and this was not only me, it was the sporting director, and performance director – and how are we going to manage the media?

“But we needed to be aware that both Fernando and Lance had known each other forever – already from the Ferrari times. So when it started, we took the approach that we have to be open, honest and transparent with both at all times.” 

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR23, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR23, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Krack believed that never hiding anything from either driver was the best way to avoid trouble – even if it would be difficult at times when things were not going right. 

“It’s not only in the good times, but also in the less good times,” added Krack. “The truth is sometimes the hardest bit, and these are the most difficult conversations. But if you have them, it’s so much easier after. 

“It includes things like, how do we race each other? How do we handle each other? How do we treat things if we have more difficult results?”  

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While Aston Martin had some ups and downs over 2023, Krack felt the team’s policy with its drivers paid off.

“We managed, with the contribution from both drivers and from everybody around, to keep an open, honest, transparent relationship – and this made it really easy.

“But I have to say, Lance and Fernando, the way they work with each other, the way they treat each other, does not need any intervention from our side, because they are just very mature. They put the team in the centre, and it is the same for us. For us, the team is everything.

“They know that we have nine hot competitors out there, and we don’t gain anything by fighting each other. That’s really very helpful. So credit to both of them for the way they handled it.”

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