2022 AM Wings_Mono Negative
Feature

Mike on... the Spanish Grand Prix

A new technology campus, a home race for Fernando and a thrilling finish in Monaco to digest. There's plenty for Team Principal Mike Krack to discuss this week.

Mike Krack

It's only 660km from Monte Carlo to Montmeló but the Circuit de Monaco and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya couldn't be further apart. From the tight, twisting confines of the Principality to the wide open, high-speed spaces of F1’s favourite test track – and even faster this year with the chicane removed – is quite a lot to get your head around. We are grateful for the huge wave of support following Fernando into his home race following our best finish of the year in Monaco.

There's a great deal for Team Principal Mike Krack to talk about looking both back and ahead – and also the small matter of moving into our new state-of-the-art technology campus this week.

This is Mike on…

Moving in

"While many in the team went directly to Barcelona, I travelled back to Silverstone where we are now gradually moving into the first phase of our new technology campus. The first thing to mention is that I'm really pleased we can finally bring all our talented colleagues under one roof.

"There's a lot more open space, a lot fewer doors and it's going to be a lot easier for everyone to communicate. I've also had my first coffee in the building – I'm not really a tea person – and can confirm it's very good!

"When I walked out into the car park, with the early evening sun shining and the lawn looking very green, I looked back and thought how privileged I was to be here. There's a lot happening with the team, and perhaps we don't recognise that enough. We’ve had a run of podiums, announced our partnership with Honda, and are moving into our new home. This isn't the sort of period anyone is going to experience very often in their career. It's a time our people will be able to tell their grandchildren about, and we should be grateful and humble to be part of it. I do miss my old chair though… going to have to get that back."

New Factory

Monaco strategy

"Coming out of Monaco there was a feeling that perhaps there was a chance missed. We were very close to pole, and in the race, who knows what could have happened if we'd taken the Intermediate tyres. As always, after the race, we conduct a thorough review of what we did, to see if we could have done something different.

"At the end of the day, I think we should just take the positives from Monaco. Hindsight is wonderful but we can only really look at whether we made good choices at the time, based on the information that was available.

"We've discussed the strategy at length, and ultimately what it came down to was the rain starting to fall when Fernando was in the pits. Sector Three was dry when he came in; rain started to fall as he left. 10 seconds later and we'd have fitted Inters – but we didn't stop 10 seconds later, and when we stopped, slicks were the correct choice – and that's all there is."

Fernando's focus

"Fernando definitely believed he had a shot in Monaco. He was at the track way ahead of time with homework for us to do on Thursday. He was focused, self-confident – not arrogant – and challenging us to do more, to go the extra mile.

"He's always motivated, always up for it – but I think in Monaco he was extra-motivated. 11 out of 10. You can't do that every week, no one can, because it takes so much energy out of you… but I think he'll be up there again this weekend."

Monaco GP

Lance's luck

"There's a lot of focus on Fernando for obvious reasons, but Lance has a lot of steely determination at the moment. He's not had much luck in the last two races. We let him down in Miami, and then he ran over debris from Lando Norris' crash at just the wrong moment during qualifying in Monaco.

"That sort of thing can really knock it out of you – but I think Spain is the perfect place for him to bounce back. He's excellent on high-speed circuits like this one – very quick in Jeddah, unbelievable through Sector One in Suzuka. Barcelona should suit him – especially now we have the super-quick final two corners."

Turning Spain green

"Arriving in Barcelona, we set out to turn Spain green for Fernando's home race and bring the sport closer to fans. We've had lots of events in the city, including giving fans the chance to get up close to an AMF1 car at our AMF1 x Kimoa pop-up store and Fernando and Pedro meeting fans at the IL PITSTOP experience we've developed with our partner Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0%. It's been fantastic.

"The best thing is the number of fans we've had asking for pictures. We welcomed I / AM members into the paddock with us yesterday and hopefully we can turn the entire circuit green over the rest of the weekend. Seeing all this green, it helps us. It adds motivation."

Spanish GP

Changes in Barcelona

"Where are we going to be in Barcelona? I'm not sure – but there's absolutely no reason to believe we'll not have a good race. There are a couple of things to factor in, the first of which is that removing the chicane at the end of the lap changes the track quite a bit. We're going back to the layout from the start of the century: fewer slow corners; more fast corners and so a different challenge, especially for the tyres.

"The other thing to consider are upgrades – both ours and those made by other teams. For us, we're consistently improving the car and our systems. Some of it went on the car in Monaco but there's more to go on here… and more to come when we go to Canada. It's a busy time."

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