Mike Krack knows that a driver as demanding as Fernando Alonso could make life difficult for Aston Martin, but the team boss remains convinced that hiring the two-time world champion is “the right step”.
After two years with Alpine, Alonso will join the Silverstone-based outfit next season as part of the team’s long-term plan to become a leading contender in F1.
Team owner Lawrence Stroll has ensured that his outfit has the tools and funding to match its ambitions, and recruiting Alonso is part of his team’s drive to push forward.
But Krack admitted that bringing the Spaniard onboard was a carefully thought-out decision.
“He can push us, more than a driver who does not have that calibre,” Krack told the BBC. “It will maybe be much more difficult than it is now.
“We discussed this. We said: ‘What are the pros and cons?’ And we came to the conclusion that it is the right step.”
At 41, Alonso is a seasoned veteran, but the 32-time Grand Prix winner’s motivation and speed are showing no signs of fading away.
Those qualities, allied with the Spaniard’s massive experience, make Alonso the “perfect candidate” as Sebastian Vettel’s successor as far as Aston Martin is concerned.
“Normally, drivers with this experience, they do not have this desire to win,” said Krack. “Normally, this desire goes down, especially if they have won already.
“Fernando has this unique combination of speed, hunger, motivation and experience. For us, it makes the perfect candidate.”
But Krack warns to the downside of partnering with Alonso if the team doesn’t hold its end of the bargain.
“The downside could be that if the car we deliver is just not good enough, then we know it gets difficult,” he said. “But it gets difficult with every driver if the car is not fast enough.
“We think having someone like Fernando is really, really important to make the next step as a team.
“You need to learn to manage champions, which we already did with Sebastian. Because these drivers are very demanding, they are quite difficult to manage.
“I would not even say Sebastian is that difficult to manage if you are transparent, honest and straight. And I think the same goes for Fernando.
“Difficulties arise when expectation does not match deliverables, or when it’s not outspoken,” added Krack.
“He knows very well when he comes here that we will probably not win the first race together.
“But he can be assured we give it everything and we will listen to what he has to say. And if we cannot deliver on something we have to tell him, open and transparently: ‘Look, this we cannot do. With all possibilities, this is what we can do next.’
“I think if we have this kind of dialogue, it is not going to be problematic.”