Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack says that “old fox” Fernando Alonso brings much more to the Silverstone Formula 1 outfit than just his proven speed.

The 42-year-old is in his second season with Aston Martin, having replaced fellow world champion Sebastian Vettel at the start of 2023.

Krack says that Alonso continues to push the team in all areas, on and off the track. “We've seen that last year already when he joined,” he noted.

“It's not only what he brings in terms of proven talent and racecraft; that, I think, we don't have to discuss. He brings this extra to the team, driving and pushing and motivating everybody. And leading by example, from the first moment in the morning to late at night, which is exemplary.

“And this is something that is infecting the whole team, that is something that you want to preserve.”

Fernando Alonso with Mike Krack at Monaco GP 2023

Krack cited an example from the Saudi Arabian GP, where Alonso was fighting to stay clear of George Russell and trying to extract as much pace as he could out of the hard tyres.

In asking if there was a “Plan B”, Alonso not only gave his team something to think about but also kept rivals on their toes.

“He asked for the Plan B, basically,” said Krack. “‘Is there a Plan B?’

“Fernando is always teasing you, you have to be careful if he's really honest about it, because he knows all the strategies before, he knows where all the field is. And sometimes he maybe does it even on purpose, because he knows the competitors are listening. So he's an old fox.

“But he always wakes us up. As soon as you think for one lap you can read it, there comes a radio call, and he says, ‘What about Plan B?’, like Fernando always does. So we then had a look at the Plan B, but you will not finish where you finish with Plan B.”

Fernando Alonso at Saudi Arabian GP 2024

Krack also praised the way Alonso kept Russell behind, successfully avoiding giving the Mercedes driver DRS for many laps.

“It was quite strong,” he said. “We knew George was behind, he had good speed, and we did not want to let him into the DRS. So it was all the time between 1.5 and 1.0 seconds in between them.

“And then it is always how much do I manage, and how much do I push to get to the end? But I think he managed it like probably nobody else can. I don't know where he got the gaps from. In my opinion he was always on top of the situation.”

Krack stressed that the team’s priority is to retain Alonso for 2025, while acknowledging that the Spaniard has other opportunities to consider.

“It's not a secret that he first of all wants to decide for himself what he wants to do,” he explained. “And I think it's also not a secret that I keep saying that we want to continue working with Fernando.

“And I also said that the most important thing is that we give him a quick car. So that he believes in this project, and that he believes in this team, and everything else we will have to discuss over the weeks to come.

“Now, it is clear that a driver of that calibre is attractive for everybody, but we will try to keep him.”