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Aston Martin “confident” it can close gap to F1 rivals with development

The team got off to a disappointing start relative to last year in Bahrain, with Fernando Alonso slipping back to ninth from an unexpectedly strong sixth place on the grid, and Lance Stroll recovering to 10th after a first-corner incident.

Krack says that new parts will be on the cars as early as the Saudi Arabian GP, and stressed that the team already knows that there is much more to come.

“We see the development,” he noted. “Because when you have race one, the development is not at race one level, it’s further ahead. And we see some encouraging development there. So that makes me confident.

“[For Jeddah] we will have some small developments to improve the car. And we hope that we can be closer. And then we have to see if Fernando can pull another lap out like yesterday, that will help us to come more forward.”

Asked by Motorsport.com if F1 fans can expect the chasing teams can reduce the gap to the dominant Red Bull within this season, he said: “I cannot make any prediction on that. But the fact is we have 24 races, we have seen last year you can make developments, you can make recoveries. I would not say let’s switch off the TV now!

“I think everybody will push as much as they can. And there are some great teams around, so I would not be surprised if some of the others catching up or doing good developments.

“We’re not fighting Red Bull at the moment, we’re trying to fight the cars that are in front of us, which was McLaren and Mercedes today. And this is the first gap that we need to close.”

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR24 and Valtteri Bottas, Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber C44

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR24 and Valtteri Bottas, Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber C44

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Regarding the team’s first development step, he added: “In Jeddah, if it’s big or not, that’s a different question. The cars are never staying the same from one race to the next. Every team is changing stuff. Every team is optimising all the time.

“Maybe not all teams, but I think certainly the big teams they always modify, they try to eliminate weaknesses as quickly as possible. And we try to do the same.”

Krack also pointed out that Aston Martin was flattered in terms of results by rivals hitting problems early last year, with McLaren and Mercedes fighting uncompetitive cars, and Ferrari struggling with race pace.

“We must not forget that we are also often measured around the podiums of last year,” he noted. “But it was more a ranking thing than really pace. We had issues with the red cars, we gained a little bit from the circumstances as well.

“But if we are really objective, and we look at our performance, we can see that it was not that great at the time. The result was, but we were still quite far behind.”

Nevertheless, Krack stressed that the team has a good starting point on which to build in the coming weeks.

“The target from the first moment was to score with both cars,” he said of the Bahrain race. “We said that has to be really the target. And we managed that. So mission completed, but we would obviously like to have more points.

“It’s early days. We tried really to get a decent balance for short run, for long run, over the three days. But I think it is it is a very good baseline.”

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This article was originally published by a www.motorsport.com . Read the Original article here. .

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