It was only a few days ago when the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula 1 Team announced that its long-serving Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer would be stepping down. This came amid rumours that Szafnauer would be moving to the Alpine F1 Team to take on a senior role there. Now today Aston Martin has announced the signing of a new Team Principal in the form of Mike Krack.
Krack previously led BMW’s global motorsport operation, a position he had held at the company since 2014. In this role, he’d been in charge of BMW’s Formula E, GT and IMSA programmes as well as being a part of the brand’s planned expansion into the new LMDh formula for IMSA and the World Endurance Championship. Prior to that, Krack had a senior role at Porsche and also has a decade of previous Formula 1 experience with Sauber.
Krack will report to the team’s owner Lawrence Stroll and the team’s CEO Martin Whitmarsh. He will also be reunited with Sebastian Vettel, who he worked with at BMW-Sauber from 2006-2007.
“It is a thrill and an honour to have been appointed to the position of Team Principal of Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team, and I am very grateful to Lawrence [Stroll] and Martin [Whitmarsh] for giving me such a fantastic opportunity,” Krack said in an official statement. “Aston Martin is one of the greatest automotive brands in the world, and to have been asked to play a leading role in delivering the on-track Formula One success that such an illustrious name so richly deserves is a challenge that I plan to embrace with energy and enthusiasm.”
“I have been working in motorsport for over 20 years, and worked in Formula One with Seb Vettel in 2006 and 2007 when I was a BMW-Sauber engineer and he was the team’s test driver. I have huge respect for his speed and ability, and it will be fantastic to be reunited with him,” Krack continued. “Lance Stroll is a seriously fast and talented driver, too, with 100 Grands Prix starts to his name, and I am very much looking forward to working closely with him.”
“Team Silverstone has always impressed me. It is full of talented people and real racers. That racer’s culture and values are what is required to succeed in motorsport – I know that and my new colleagues at Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team know it, too. We will work incredibly hard. We want to win. Together, we will.”
“Mike Krack is exactly the right kind of dynamic and modern Team Principal who, working with our other senior leaders under Lawrence’s [Stroll] and my overall direction, as well as with our ever-growing staff of skilled and committed employees, will deliver the Formula One World Championship success that we at Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team are so determined to achieve,” stated Martin Whitmarsh. “Having worked in very senior motorsport positions at both BMW and Porsche, backed by an engineering background in Formula One with Sauber, Mike possesses a blend of experience and expertise that makes him the ideal choice for us. He works well with drivers, having prioritised that aspect of his role at BMW in recent years, and also with engineers, since he speaks their language.”
“Winning in Formula One is all about bringing together the best efforts of all the principal players – drivers, engineers, mechanics, everyone – and Mike is perfectly placed to do just that,” said Lawrence Stroll about Krack’s appointment. “We are hiring brilliant new people every week. Our new factory build is coming along very well. We have a fantastic roster of superb sponsor-partners. We are about to embark on year two of our five-year plan, the objective of which is to win Formula One World Championships.”
“All the ingredients we require are coming together. Mike will play a central and leading role, reporting to Martin Whitmarsh and leading our technical and operational functions, our collective aim being to fulfil those lofty ambitions. We are on our way.”