2022 AM Wings_Mono Negative

Mike on... the Austrian Grand Prix

Shootouts, Sprints, the value of pragmatism, and Team Principal Mike Krack's love of Austrian pancakes… a busy weekend beckons at the Red Bull Ring.

Mike Krack

The Austrian Grand Prix is a pocket rocket. The tiny Red Bull Ring packs a huge amount into a limited space, turning a crease of land in the foothills of the Styrian Alps into a cauldron: noise from the massed grandstands reverberating across the valley, with virtually the entire lap in view from any vantage point.

And there's a lot to see. It's a tricky lap that maximises the contours of the landscape, with blind crests, extreme on- and off-camber corners, heavy braking and great – if precarious – overtaking opportunities, which are going to get an extra workout this weekend with F1 revisiting the Sprint format. There's plenty for Team Principal Mike Krack to discuss this week.

This is Mike on…

Unpacking Canada

"It's only been 12 days since we got back from Canada but it seems a long time ago now, such is the pace of F1 at the moment. There was a great buzz in the city and at the circuit, and we had a good weekend. The upgrade package seemed to work well – more on that below – and we had a great result. A sixth podium for Fernando in eight races and a great recovery drive for Lance from the back of the field after the chaos of a wet Qualifying.

"Lance would have loved a better result at his home race, but from where he started, to get up into the points was a really good performance. Over the weekend there were a couple of little things we should have done better as a team, and as usual I've been preaching on my favourite subject of the aim to be perfect. It didn't cost us places in Montréal but it could easily have done so; if we don't get everything 100 per cent right, we're going to be spending more time looking in the mirrors rather than at the road ahead."

Spectacular Spielberg

"Moving on, we're now into another sequence of four races in five weeks taking us up to the summer shutdown. Austria is home to a fantastic Grand Prix with an exciting track: hard braking; fast corners; uphill and downhill; off-camber corners; superb landscape and usually the threat of dramatic weather! It's a great place to go racing and it generates a fabulous atmosphere – even though sometimes, were it not for the hills, you'd think it was the Dutch Grand Prix with all the orange in the stands."

Austrian GP

Keeping up the pressure

"We're obviously on Red Bull's home turf this weekend. We had a bad weekend here last year and we're keen to make up for that. We'll try to give them a good run for their money and apply pressure where we can.

"I was asked earlier in the week if it's frustrating to constantly see them slightly out of reach. It is not. If anything, it's highly motivational. We're in a fantastic position of being able to attack and throw our maximum effort at it – and there's no reason for that to be frustrating. I think we're overachieving at the moment, and we should enjoy this, learn from it and know that there's a very good benchmark out there that we can aspire to catch."

Updates, or lack thereof

"The car this weekend will be much as it was in Canada. There will be a few small upgrades because there always are but nothing major. This was a deliberate choice. It's a tricky weekend, with the Sprint format in play and just the one practice session.

"We wanted to concentrate our efforts on getting it right for Qualifying, rather than using our single hour of practice to try out new parts. Given the rain and cancelled Free Practice session in Canada, we're still learning about that upgrade and want to use the single session here to develop our feeling for the AMR23 in its current state."

Austrian GP

Sprint weather

"I like the new Sprint format: the weekend has more action, more qualifying, more racing – but for this one we've also got more weather! As I write this, there's blue sky overhead and you wouldn't imagine anything other than a sunny, summer weekend – but the forecast says different, and as usual in this part of the world, you really don't know what you're going to get until you get it.

"It might stay like this; or we might have rain showers and thunderstorms, or we might get both of those across an hour – but we're ready for it. The car looks good in the dry or the wet, we're good on the brakes and good in high-speed corners. All in all, we're optimistic that this could be a very rewarding Austrian Grand Prix for us."


"Another reason I like the Austrian Grand Prix is that I always get my favourite dessert! Kaiserschmarrn is tough to explain if you've never had it. It's a sort of scrambled Austrian pancake, not for everybody because it's very sweet but… yeah, I love it. And because we're in Austria, our brilliant Guest Services team will be making it this weekend.

"We're very quick to praise our garage crew, or design team, or drivers, but we should also mention our caterers because what they do is crucially important to the functioning of the team, and really, no-one works harder.

"It's usual for the team's hospitality crew to be first to arrive in the morning and last to leave at night. They keep us healthy but also provide the sort of comfort food that, during a heavy schedule, gives everyone that little pick-me-up they sometimes need. And they do it all with a resolutely cheerful demeanour, no matter what last-minute demands we make of them. What's that saying? An army marches on its stomach? Very true."

Austrian GP


"We've just had Fernando's home race in Spain, followed by Lance's home race in Canada, both of which were huge events for us – and next week we have the team's home race at Silverstone, quite literally over the road from the AMR Technology Campus. Let's take each Grand Prix one by one.

"Today, sitting here in Spielberg, it's the Austrian Grand Prix that matters. There are a lot of points on offer this weekend and we have to be absolutely focussed on the here-and-now. We'll start thinking about the British Grand Prix the second the chequered flag falls on Sunday afternoon – and not one second before."

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