2022 AM Wings_Mono Negative

Mike on... the Dutch Grand Prix

Mike Krack

From the Tuscan mountains to Zandvoort's sand dunes, Team Principal Mike Krack is back from his summer break and has plenty to discuss ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix this weekend.

After a fortnight away courtesy of the F1 summer shutdown, we're back in action this week and it's not a gentle reintroduction: the Dutch Grand Prix packs more people into a tiny space than you would think possible. It's loud, it's raucous, it's incredibly challenging and it's a sign of things to come during what will be a dynamic run into the end of the season.

Like much of the team following the summer break, Team Principal Mike Krack is looking rested and healthy, but with a determined glint in the eye. He's ready for the rest of the season, starting in Zandvoort this weekend.

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This is Mike on…

What I did in my summer holidays

"So, I spent two weeks away with my family in the Tuscan mountains, explored many of the stunning towns in the area and spent a lot of time around the pool.

"The batteries are full and they will need to be: we have 10 Grands Prix to go – four in the next five weeks; three Sprints; another trial of the Alternative Tyre Allocation – this time at the Italian Grand Prix; two sessions of tyre testing; a new track in Vegas; more upgrades to come; and more opportunities to break down barriers to F1 and bring fans closer to the sport beyond the racetrack.

"There's a lot ahead of us, but the positive thing coming into the AMR Technology Campus on Monday morning was that everyone was smiling, confident, keen to get on with it and attack – hopefully to recover some of the competitiveness we had earlier in season."

The plan

"I guess what everyone wants to know is the state of the AMR23. We've decided to keep developing the car. The regulations are stable, and whatever we can learn with this car, we can take into the next year.

"For me, success over the next 10 races would be turning around the dip in competitiveness we experienced after Canada. We need to show that we have analysed and understood the weaknesses in our car and that we know how to counter them and move forwards. It'll be tight: the competition is fierce, the races come thick and fast, and we have the cost cap. But it's an exciting challenge."

Racing at Zandvoort

"The Dutch Grand Prix is a special event. I say that about a lot of Grands Prix on the calendar – but repetition does not make it untrue! Much of the strength of F1 is derived from going to unique circuits with unique challenges every week. Here at Zandvoort, we have a narrow circuit, that's fast and flowing, up and down the dunes. We have the corner banking, which is unique in F1, and we're on the beach.

"Granted the weather this weekend doesn't feel appropriate for the beach – summer seems to have ended – but that won't stop a massive crowd having a good time. There's so much passion for the sport in the Netherlands and it's great to see. There really isn't anywhere like this, the combination is great: classic circuit, high speeds, banked corners, wind, sand dunes and 100,000 people partying like crazy."

Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso

Lance and Fernando

"Both Lance and Fernando got used to having a very competitive car at the start of the season and they're very keen to get back to that state of affairs. If we can give them better tools, they will deliver.

"I didn't want to disturb their holidays, but I have been stalking Lance's and Fernando's Instagram. Seeing Lance posting pictures of eating ice cream and wakeboarding made me smile – and hungry – while Fernando looked like he was having a lot of fun e-surfing and karting.

"Lance is back pushing hard now though: he was behind the wheel, driving a Valkyrie in Portimão last Sunday. He's on it and wants to match Fernando."

Small steps

"We've got a new floor here this weekend and a few other upgrades on the car. The changes that we made for Spa worked, they improved the car, but the step was small. I think we will see something similar in Zandvoort and at races going forward: small steps, not enough to instantly close a large gap. We'll keep making them and take the car forwards. Interesting times ahead."

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