2022 AM Wings_Mono Negative

Mike on... the Italian Grand Prix

Mike Krack

The magic of Monza, skinny wings, Felipe Drugovich, podiums and more. There's no shortage of topics for Team Principal Mike Krack to discuss ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.

It's the final European round of the season. We're shortly saying goodbye to our Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team House and reacquainting ourselves with the entertainment options on long-haul aircraft… but first, there's the small matter of a race at the Temple of Speed.

Monza is different to F1's other regular stops: speeds are higher and wings are smaller. It's a great place to go racing, special even, but equally a track with some unique demands. Added to that, we've got the alternative tyre allocation (ATA) and AMF1 Team Test and Reserve Driver Felipe Drugovich in the car for Free Practice One.

Team Principal Mike Krack has got plenty to say about all things Monza, plus a recap on an exciting, if damp, weekend out on the dunes of Zandvoort.

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This is Mike on…

An intense return to the track

"After the summer break, Zandvoort was not a gentle reintroduction to racing. The weekend was intense. There's an enormous crowd, little space, driving rain and a difficult circuit. Then we had some issues. Lance had a car problem in FP1 which stopped him running, it was a really tough Friday… and then it started raining. When it rains, you can sense the opportunity. There are many chances to get it very right, but an equal number of chances to get it very wrong. It's an exciting time to be at a racetrack."

Returning to the podium

"The podium in Zandvoort really was a fantastic result. Fernando was at his very best, and you could see it in his facial expression – he knew a big result was possible. Post-race we had mixed emotions: great to be back on the podium, but also some regret that we didn't score heavily with both cars.

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"Lance had an excellent opportunity to be right up there but, in all honesty, we messed up his strategy at the start and let him down which ruined his afternoon. We tried to hang on through the shower at the start, realised we couldn't and called him in. It was the worst possible decision: we should either have been in earlier or stuck to it. Changing our minds wasn't great, and we have to do better."


"We're 13 races into the season and have 215 points. Last year, at this stage, we had 20 points. The improvement is incredible. The Dutch Grand Prix was a good weekend because we closed the gap to Mercedes and increased our lead over the teams behind.

"What's making me most happy though is the hunger for more that's in the team. When we got back to the Campus, there was the usual debrief for everyone, recounting our weekend. Before I took the microphone to say my bit, I was speaking with three team members from the machine shop, and their first words were ‘still not first'. This is the right approach: everyone has that desire to see us win. We've made significant progress on our journey as a team, but there's more to come. We're still growing, still building, and we'll never stop pushing for more.

"Being back on the podium was great for morale though. I would not say that heads had dropped over the last few races, but there's a real boost when the car qualifies well and you come home with a trophy. This is a long season and it gives everyone a lift.

"Lance is looking forward to a positive weekend in Monza. It is a circuit he loves and we will be doing all we can to give him a clean weekend."

Italian GP

Feeling good

"The debrief with the drivers was very positive after Zandvoort. The car felt good, the rear end was behaving as expected and the upgrades we took seemed to move us a small step forward. I hesitate to say that was the case for certain because it was an unusual weekend with a lot going on. It's very tempting to assume our good performance in Qualifying came from the upgrades, but we can't be sure it was car rather than conditions.

"The aerodynamic data is positive: we saw a small improvement in the balance of the AMR23 and a more stable platform for the drivers to work with. I think we have that – but hopefully, we'll know a little bit more after Monza. The first thing I looked at after Zandvoort was the weather forecast for this weekend. Lots of dry running is going to help us get a better picture of where we are."

The magic of Monza

"And now Monza. The Temple of Speed and the tifosi. After a week where everything and everyone was orange, we've moved swiftly on to a weekend where everything is red. Hopefully in among the red, we'll see some fans in green. If it's like Zandvoort, they'll really stand out. The McLaren fans were a little more difficult to spot in Holland! There's a lot of passion in this place. When you come into the track, you see the banking of the old circuit and it's just so nice to be here: full of tradition, full of history, full of passion."

Felipe Drugovich

"Felipe drove the car in FP1. It's been good to have him back in and get his feedback on how the car is now, compared to how it was at the beginning of the year. The way things are now, with every minute on track being valuable, you can't afford to simply let a reserve driver do their own thing. He had a job to do with lots of test items on the car.

"He's very good. He was in the simulator at the start of the week after doing a lot of work for Zandvoort last week. We trust his judgement, and he's been very clear about how he thinks we should run the car. You can see him developing all the time. Very mature, very solid; he gets in, gets the job done and doesn't go for glory because he has enough self-confidence to understand that isn't what the team needs. It's a shame he didn't have more tyres, but we have the ATA this weekend, and that limits what you can do."

Italian GP


"Our main upgrade this weekend is the Monza-spec skinny wings because Monza is lightning quick and you need a low-drag package. We'll also get to see some teamwork in action with Fernando and Lance towing each other. If you get the tow right, it's fantastic because the impact is substantial. It does require careful timing though because it's difficult to get right – though F1 uses GPS, which makes it a little easier. In other categories, it can be a nightmare to organise!"

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