F1: New boss wants Vettel to sign 2023 contract

(GMM) Aston Martin’s new team boss says he wants to convince Sebastian Vettel to sign a new contract for 2023 and beyond.

German Mike Krack, whose working relationship with Vettel dates back to his BMW days, has been drafted back into Formula 1 by Aston Martin to replace Alpine-bound Otmar Szafnauer.

“I hope that my presence is enough for him to stay,” Krack is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.

“It’s quite clear that a four-time world champion doesn’t want to race for 8th, 12th or 15th. We have to give him a good car and show him that we have a good working structure.

“Sebastian is an intelligent guy,” Krack added. “He doesn’t just look at current performance, but at the potential. If we give him the right package, then I’m sure we can keep him longer.

“But I haven’t talked to him about it yet.”

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin

Indeed, Vettel also batted away pre-season questions about his next moves beyond his expiring contract, but Krack thinks he knows how to win the German driver over.

“It is important for these top drivers to feel the support of the team,” he said.

“It is particularly important that it is honestly and transparently explained to them where we stand and what we expect.

“You don’t have to call them every day. They just have to feel the confidence.”

Krack hit back at reports suggesting that it was actually Vettel who lured the highly respected former BMW and Porsche engineer back to F1.

“No, not at all,” he told Speed Week. “I only spoke to Seb after I signed. I wanted to get an impartial picture first.

“In addition, negotiations for such a role are subject to strict rules on confidentiality. So no, there were no talks with Vettel.”

Krack also confirmed rumors that Aston Martin may be looking to split with Mercedes and set up its very own engine division ahead of the rule changes in 2026.

“We are very happy with our current partner,” he insists, “but especially with the 2026 rules it is obvious that a company like Aston Martin will check if it makes sense to develop an engine in-house.”

#5 Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin during the winter testing days, Barcelona 23-25 February 2022, Formula 1 World championship 2022.

Asked by The Race’s Mark Hughes about Vettel having a reputation of being quite sensitive to his work and environment, and if he feels that is a big part of his role, Krack said: “Yes, I think it is super important.

“It does not have to be always the island of comfort for everyone. But I think it’s very important for such high-class drivers that they feel the support of the team.

“What matters here most is being transparent about what we expect, about where we are. And this is something that I handled also with all the drivers that I had in the past. I mean at my former employer [BMW] we have more drivers because we have more projects, and it is quite crucial that you have them all aligned with what you want to achieve and there is no one left out.

“We need to spend time on this subject. We need to spend time with both drivers and also with the reserve driver and all the drivers that you have in the whole system.

“But it’s a matter of being honest and transparent at the end of the day. So far, it has always worked quite easily, if you treat them the way it is necessary.

“And that does not mean that you have to call them every day, but you have to put an ecosystem in place where they can feel trusted and comfortable.”