The Aston Martin Formula 1 team had a nightmare weekend in Melbourne for the third round of the 2022 F1 World Championship, leaving Australia with a zero points, the only team yet score anything. New team boss Mike Krack firmly points the finger at the team for Vettels terrible season start.
This website broke the news story highlighting just how bad the Aston Martin team is currently after a whistle blower within the factory contacted us in January. The team is in crisis with huge sums of money being thrown into problem solving. Aston Martin is fielding massively demotivated factory staff.
Indeed, it seems that this crisis situation is starting to be proven true (READ MORE ON THIS); during Friday’s free practice session, Sebastian Vettel’s car began to experience problems as the German was forced to park his Aston Martin on the side of the track following an engine failure.
The team quickly decided to change the engine on Vettel’s car for the rest of the weekend, which meant he missed the second free practice session. The following day, Vettel crashed his car in 3rd practice, while his teammate Lance Stroll did the same at the end of the session. Both drivers finally managed to take part in qualifying in the afternoon, but once again Stroll crashed his car when he made contact with the Williams of Nicholas Latifi. On Sunday in the race, Sebastian Vettel crashed his car again to complete a nightmare weekend for him and his team.
All of this damage over the weekend in Australia will cost the Aston Martin team dearly, and they are now in a race against time to make new parts before the next round of the year in Italy on April 22-24.
“We had a very difficult weekend with a lot of damage to both cars. It started on Friday when we had a problem with the engine block [on Vettel’s car] so we didn’t have as much time as others to prepare for our weekend,” explained team principal Mike Krack.
“Then, obviously, the incidents on track were more visible to everyone, and it was a lot of work. I think when we got here we thought we would have been a little bit better than we were before, but obviously… we had a lot more disruption than you can ultimately afford.”
“I think at the end of the race we were in a position where you hope you can score, but in the end it didn’t happen. Overall, it was a pretty disappointing weekend, I have to say, so now we really have to put all the pieces together that we have… we’re starting to run out of spares, so that’s something we have to sort out.”
It’s rather incredible for a team boss to admit that the team is running out of parts to the media, but it appears that Krack has been dropped in the deep end with a very poor car. The new boss certainly makes it clear that Vettel’s terrible start in Australia was not the German drivers’ fault.
Mike Krack explained that the four-time world champion’s woes were not simply due to a lack of driving on his part, suggesting instead that the equipment was the problem.
“After all these incidents, I think if someone like him, as a four-time world champion, has these problems that he may have had this weekend, it’s not just driving the car – and we have to look at that – but rather what car we provide him, what feedback he gets from the car…”
“The fact that he is as absent as he has been this weekend is not normal, and I don’t think it is related to the fact that he has missed two races. I mean he’s a multiple winner in Melbourne, he knows where he is here. He’s done some testing with the car [winter testing], so I think it would be very easy to say he wasn’t here for two weekends. But a driver of this class, we really need to check what tools we are giving him.”
Mick Krack also warned that there was no “magic solution” to the team’s early season problems, with the next race at Imola just days away.
“You have to have a fast car, you have to not make mistakes, you have to have good drivers. Everything is not there at the moment, so we will have to work hard to get there. There’s no magic at the end of the day.”
After the Australian Grand Prix, the Aston Martin team is the only one on the grid to have scored no points since the start of the 2022 campaign.