Fernando Alonso was “very impressive” on his first outing with Aston Martin, said team principal Mike Krack.
The two-time champion, 41, had a day of testing for Aston Martin in Abu Dhabi last week to prepare for his departure from Alpine for the start of next season.
Krack said Alonso was immediately quick, adding that the “message delivery efficiency” was “very impressive”.
“It was direct at all times. Very friendly, open and transparent.”
Krack said he believed Alonso’s determination and drive to win would have a transformative effect on Aston Martin.
“With Fernando, I always hold up this photo of [this year’s] Mexican Grand Prix of his frustration at not finishing seventh [because the car broke down]. It is an example of dedication and motivation.
“So if you have someone with that passion and that will to win, it has an impact on the team.
“And we could clearly see that everybody was really happy to have this guy in the car last Tuesday. So I think he ignited maybe another spark of his own passion and desire to win for the game. ‘crew.”
Alonso replaces four-time champion Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin, following the German’s retirement, and has signed a contract that will keep him with the team for at least the next two years.
Krack said Alonso was “different” from Vettel, who had driven for Aston Martin since 2021, but shared some key characteristics.
“They have different backgrounds,” Krack said. “One is Latin and the other is German and that makes a big difference, but what they have in common is a focus on improvement, a focus on progress and isolation. of what moves us forward instead of just being detailed.”
Krack was speaking at a press conference as Aston Martin was set to complete a state-of-the-art factory at their Silverstone base.
It was the first time new technical director Dan Fallows has spoken to the media since joining the Red Bull team earlier this year.
Fallows said he thought working with aerodynamicist Eric Blandin, who joined Mercedes at the same time, he could add “clarity of purpose and direction”.
Fallows added: “What I saw was a group of extremely passionate and very talented people, some of whom have been here for a very long time and have a huge amount of experience.
“The main thing for us is to make sure we tap into that experience and that passion and not destroy it at the same time as trying to grow and make us a winning team.”
Fallows, who was Red Bull’s head of aerodynamics, said the main reason for his former team’s success was that they had “managed to solve the problems in all aspects of the team”.
He added: “I have experience of what it means to win races and championships and I really think the key message is that you just have to make sure that in every aspect of what you do it doesn’t hurt. there are no holes and there is nothing there that can affect your performance as you go along.”
Fallows was involved in designing the Red Bull car that dominated the 2022 season with Max Verstappen, but he said Aston Martin needed to find its own path to success.
“The important thing for us is to make sure we don’t just replicate what our competitors are doing,” Fallows said.
“We don’t think it will help us overtake Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari.
“So we have to develop our own way of doing things and that takes time.
“But we have an extremely ambitious group of people and one of the things about seeing the new factory come together is that it demonstrates that momentum, that desire to accelerate the process of upscaling and to start getting into a situation winning.
“And I think that’s what’s really going to help us get there, it’s that passion and that drive and that belief that we’re going to get there eventually.”
The team is expected to move into the main building of the new factory, which will house the design and manufacturing departments, in May next year.
A new wind tunnel will follow in the summer of 2024, and then a third building, containing a gym, canteen, wellness center and corporate entertainment facilities, will open the following year.
Krack described the new factory as a “game changer” for the team in the five-year plan that owner Lawrence Stroll has put in place for them to be able to compete at the front by 2025.
Until now, Aston Martin has been using a factory that was built for the creation of the Jordan Grand Prix team in 1990 and faced a tough working environment, with a small main building and various outbuildings, making communication difficult.
Fallow said: “Efficiency pretty much covers everything – cost efficiency, time efficiency.
“One of the things that characterizes a competitive team is their ability to turn things around quickly, to get from concept to reality in the shortest possible time.
“So there are big steps you can take with this type of setup. And obviously in a world of cost caps, anything you can do to maximize the efficiency of these parts is worth investing in. be done.”