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Aston Martin battling distorted expectations after 2023 charge

Having performed beyond expectations last year, Aston Martin feels it is now judged too harshly for its 2024 Formula 1 results

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack says overdelivering in the 2023 Formula 1 season means it is now battling inflated expectations.

Aston Martin is currently lagging behind 2024's four top teams and has slipped back to battle the improving RB outfit in recent races, with the team's standout driver Yuki Tsunoda frequently finishing ahead of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll.

Aston has come under fire for its 2024 performances off the back of a much stronger 2023 season, in which Alonso took six podiums over the first eight races, before Aston was overtaken by the surging McLaren team.

Team principal Krack pointed out the team is still in a build-up phase at its new Silverstone headquarters, and exceeding expectations last year has led to excess pressure on what it can achieve in the short term, especially now McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari have all gotten their act together.

When asked by Autosport why there is a disconnect between the progress Krack claims the team is making and its lack of on-track results, he replied: "These processes take time and there are not many businesses where you have less time than Formula 1.

"So that is the constant juggling between expectation management and the expectations you generate also with what we had last year.

"Last year, we exceeded [expectations] massively, and we are measured on this today. And that is why we have to put this year a bit more in perspective."

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team, 2nd position, with his trophy

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team, 2nd position, with his trophy

Photo by: Patrick Vinet / Motorsport Images

Aston is partly judged on ambitious team owner Lawrence Stroll's aim to fight for wins and world championships within four to five years, a statement which was made in July 2021.

Generously, that would give it until the regulations reset in 2026, when Aston Martin switches to works Honda power units, to realise those ambitions.

But Krack, who wasn't at the team yet at that time, warned that the squad's long-term focus means its progress won't necessarily be linear.

"Last year, at this time, you said: 'You are much ahead of the plan'. Now, we are much behind the plan. And that's fine, we have to face also these questions if we put these statements out.

"Last year, we were obviously better than we were thinking. That trajectory will go up, it will go down, depending on what your competitors are doing. It is like the stock exchange.

"But you have to keep the target in sight. We have a plan in place how we develop the team from an infrastructure point of view, from the way we are developing. We have great partners coming with Honda, we have a great partner with Aramco - so I think there's no reason to be negative.

"All in all, I'm happy with the way the team develops and you have to go through more difficult periods as well."

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