2022 AM Wings_Mono Negative

Mike on... the British Grand Prix

The British Grand Prix buzz, welcoming people to our new home, track limits, and getting the most from what you have, there's plenty for Team Principal Mike Krack to discuss ahead of our home race.

Mike Krack

Walk or drive down Dadford Road towards Silverstone's main gate and you can't help but notice our new home, the AMR Technology Campus, opposite. We are the closest of the local teams and, in the modern era, the only one with our headquarters located at a Grand Prix venue. That means that this weekend we're at the heart of it all – in the middle of the unique buzz of the British Grand Prix.

It's been a busy few days for the team since the chequered flag fell at the Austrian Grand Prix. We're hosting lots of events to formally open our new home, opening the doors to fans, media and partners for their first look at the AMR Technology Campus – while all around them the work goes on as we prepare for our home race.

Unsurprisingly, Team Principal Mike Krack has been a very busy man this week, but that just makes him even more happy to shut the door of his new office for an hour, gather his thoughts, and write his notes to you, our fans.

This is Mike on…

Performance in Austria

"The Austrian Grand Prix was a tricky but positive weekend in the end. Not our easiest, not our best. We know there are going to be weekends like this, and we cannot be on the podium every race.

“I think we were pretty good in the Sprint, very close to maximising our performance – but we could have done better in the race, particularly around the Virtual Safety Car. That compromised both drivers, Lance more than Fernando. It's something we need to look into and see how we can improve."

Austrian GP

Putting in the protest

"Of course, the thing that really grabbed everyone's attention in Austria was that we lodged a protest after the race. Protesting the result isn't something we do lightly but, in this case, we really had to do it.

"We were monitoring the penalties being accrued during the race, and we wanted to seek clarification. We understood how these had been dealt with in the past and we felt the way it was handled in Austria was not correct. Fortunately, the stewards agreed with us."

The mechanics of protest

"Protesting the result of a Grand Prix isn't an easy thing to do. The rules give you 30 minutes to submit the paperwork from the moment the provisional classification is released. Our strategy team, sporting and legal had to work hand-in-hand and very rapidly to have it lodged within the time frame.

"You have to be sure of the facts, sure of the rules, and display great clarity in what you submit – because the first stage of protesting successfully is to have the document examined to ensure it was submitted correctly. After that, the stewards will decide if there is a case to answer, and then they will examine that case. Sporting Director Andy Stevenson's persistence got us to that stage, and as a result, we gained a couple of points, our competitors lost a couple of points, and we came away believing the results were correct."

Track limits

"Inevitably, what happened in Austria has reignited the debate over track limits again. Because we were part of it last week, I feel like there's an expectation I will have a view – but it's really not for us to comment on what should happen.

"Our responsibility is to drive on the circuit. We told our drivers to respect the track limits. Fernando had one lap deleted and Lance two, so neither of them picked up a penalty. So, it's possible to stay – mostly – within the limits, and so I don't really support this argument that says the tracks have to change. We have to stay within the limits. It is clear."

British GP

Upgrade season

"Getting back to racing, the magic word in the paddock at the moment is ‘upgrade'. It's that time of year. Mercedes had one in Canada, Ferrari had one in Austria and Mercedes will have something else this weekend. We'll have something as well – but we need to manage expectations, or rather put them in perspective.

"Red Bull look like they're in a league of their own at the moment, but those of us tucked in behind them are all pushing very, very hard. Bringing an upgrade doesn't always deliver an advantage – sometimes it's the thing that allows you to keep up."

Getting the most from what you have

"It's important to understand that some weeks we'll be on top and some weeks we won't in our battle with Mercedes and Ferrari. The weeks when we are not are very important because it's those ones when you really have to scrap hard to ensure you take what you can and limit the losses. At the end of the year, it might be those days that make the difference.

"Austria was a good example. It wasn't our strongest weekend but we had both cars in the points, outscored Mercedes and closed the gap to them in the Constructors' Championship. Going into Silverstone we are only three points behind."

British GP

A busy weekend

"I'm conscious of the fact I'm talking a lot about Austria when all around me the British Grand Prix is in full swing. The AMR Technology Campus is a couple of metres from the main gate at Silverstone, we're surrounded by campsites – we can see them looking at our lawn with envious eyes – and the place is absolutely buzzing. It's fabulous – but it's also a lot of work.

"We've been showing off our new home to fans, sponsors and the media this week; we're also celebrating Aston Martin's 110th birthday; and we're doing lots of events in and around the circuit with competitions, appearances and so forth. It's hugely exciting but the important thing is to make sure it isn't a distraction for the race team – everyone needs to stay focussed on the job at hand."

The magic of Silverstone

"This is a track where we really, really want to perform well. It's a great circuit: the speeds are very high and our latest upgrades have been focussed in that area. I'm hoping that we'll see lots of green in the grandstands – in fact, I know we will because lots of our team will be there this weekend as spectators.

"It's a rare opportunity: while the trackside team are practically living at racing circuits during this phase of the season, the AMR Technology Campus is full of team members who are working very hard but rarely get to see the cars at the track. We really want to put on a good show for them this weekend – and everybody else too."

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