Fernando Alonso was “very impressive” in his first Formula 1 test for Aston Martin in Abu Dhabi and will bring a “desire to win” next year, says team principal Mike Krack.
Alonso makes the switch from Alpine across to Aston Martin for 2023, and after being released from his contract early, the two-time world champion drove an unbranded AMR22 in the post-season tyre test.
The move to the Silverstone-based outfit will mark the fifth different team Alonso will have raced for in his F1 career, and he has already made an impression on Aston Martin after the Abu Dhabi test.
“It was very impressive, very impressive by the efficiency of transmitting the messages,” said Krack, as quoted by Motorsport.com.
“It was straight to the point at all times, and it was very friendly and open, transparent, I think in both directions. We’re very pleased with how this day went, really.”
Alonso’s arrival came about after Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement from F1 back in July, paving way for a deal to be agreed with the Spaniard.
Asked to compare the two multiple world champions, Krack said: “Different, yes, because they have different backgrounds. One is Latin, one is German. That makes a big difference.
“But what they have in common is the focus, the focus on improving, the focus on making progress, and also isolating what makes us progress instead of maybe being detailed. Some similarities, but also some differences.”
Alonso played an important role in Alpine’s P4 finish in the constructors’ championship, but was frustrated to have not scored more points due to a series of reliability failures.
Krack believes it is already clear that Alonso will bring a winning mentality to Aston Martin, and pinpointed a moment in 2022 that is proof of Alonso’s sheer desire to win.
“I think with Fernando, I always hold up this picture from the Mexican Grand Prix about his frustration of not having finished seventh,” he said. “This is an example of the dedication and motivation.
“So if you have someone with this passion and drive to win, I think he has an impact on the team, and we could clearly see that, how everybody was really happy to have this guy in the car.
“I think he ignites maybe another spark from his own passion and desire to win onto the team.”
Alonso signed a multi-year deal with Aston Martin that will carry him into his mid-40s, and Krack hinted should he hang up his helmet at the end of the contract, Alonso will remain at the team in another role.
“We’ve had some very good conversations already with him,” said Krack. “This in my opinion can go beyond driving.
“Fernando joining us has been a core part of the team, and we have to see how this is going to develop. But I think he can have a big role to play in the future of the team.”