Alessandro, the team has undergone significant changes since your last race in Abu Dhabi: new identity, new color palette – could you tell us a bit about what all this means?
There’s a new identity for our team as we enter under the name of Stake F1 Team. We’ve seen a lot of changes, making this a very exciting time for us. This year, we’ll see our team transform in many areas, thanks to this major partnership with Stake, which is one of the leading entertainment and lifestyle brands globally. This partnership will help us reach a new audience and expand our fan base; it will also allow us to have a fresh and innovative approach in how we communicate. Changes are also happening in other areas: we’re developing our team structure, strengthening our staff, which means work continues at Hinwil across all fronts. It’s an exciting new era for our team.
New Era, New Look: The Drive for Enhanced Performance
With a new partner, a new look, you gain more visibility. But that alone doesn’t make the car fast.
Being at the start of this new era doesn’t mean we’ll see better performance immediately: however, everything we’ve done this winter makes us optimistic about our ability to take a step forward. We’ve worked hard under the guidance of our new technical director, James Key, to develop our project and car in all areas; make more extreme decisions; and try to improve every detail. The new technical group has made progress. But at the same time, we’re realistic: we need to see what the other teams, our competitors, have done over the winter. We know we’ve improved and we’ll soon see if this improvement is enough to compete for a better position. We’ve worked hard and will continue to do so to improve our team structures, enhance the car, and develop all the tools at our disposal.
2024-2025: A Transformation Journey for Stake F1 Team Towards Audi Era
What can we expect from your team in the next two years, 2024 and 2025?
With the Stake partnership and Stake F1 Team, we’re embarking on a new era. These two years will see our team undergo a significant transformation process towards 2026, when we will become the Audi factory team. But our focus is on the here and now: we know how important it is to lay the foundations of our team every day. That’s why we’re working very hard to improve all areas of our organization, under the leadership of Andreas Seidl.
This is my second year as a team representative: I still consider myself a rookie! Each year is a new opportunity to learn and improve.
It’s a continuous process everyone must undergo in Formula 1: our sport is very demanding, and one can never stop learning. Last year was very significant for me in this new role: I learned to manage relationships with the media and various stakeholders; our strong leadership, with our group CEO Andreas Seidl, helps us establish solid foundations, and we’ve put in place a very effective structure on the right track. We have Xevi Pujolar, our sporting director; Beat Zehnder, our team manager; and myself. Back in Hinwil, we have a new technical director in James Key. I believe this structure is really suited to our growth process and the objectives we need to achieve.
Season Goals: Enhancing Car Performance and Team Operations
Speaking of objectives, what are your expectations for the season?
We can’t talk about specific objectives, as it’s always difficult to commit to numbers: our goals are clear: to improve the performance of our car and package. By package, I mean all areas, from the race team to track operations, including pit stops, strategy: it’s not just about the car’s performance, and we’re committed across all departments to take this step, that’s the goal. Then, we’ll see where our position is throughout the season: but the key goal is to improve this year and do a better job than in 2023.
Can you tell us where you see the team in the hierarchy?
I think the team is capable and has every chance to take a step forward. Last year, we finished ninth in the constructors’ championship: of course, the minimum goal must be to improve on that position. We need to be realistic, the season will be very long: it’s not just about being competitive at the start, it’s about developing the car from January to December, delivering the best as a team at every race, and making the most of all opportunities that arise during the season. If we’re able to be fully committed throughout the season and stay focused on our work, that is, improving the car’s performance, enhancing team operations, improving our way of working, then I’m confident we will manage to take that step forward. The extent of it, the track will tell.
Valtteri, Guanyu: Solid Duo’s Third Year
We have a very solid duo with Valtteri and Guanyu, both entering their third year with the team.
This stability has been very important for us, as we always value stability within the team, especially during this transformation process. We are fully committed to our drivers and aim to provide them with the necessary tools to deliver the performances they are capable of. Valtteri is a very experienced guy: we all know his contribution, both off and on the track, is extremely valuable to the team.
We saw this last year, especially in the latter part of the season, when he proved really competitive in qualifying. We just need to be able to translate our qualifying performances into a sustained race pace. Last year, we had our ups and downs: on some tracks, we could be fast on Saturday, but then our race pace wasn’t sufficient to fight for points. Conversely, elsewhere, we would be strong in the race, but our qualifying position was really poor, and that would compromise our race strategy. Valtteri is really good at managing his race, but he is also very capable of extracting the maximum from the car: we need to give him the tools to do that.
Guanyu’s Growth: Expected Aggression and Talent Show
Guanyu has been a surprise to many, but not to us. He is really talented and consistently improving his performances. Over the last two seasons, we’ve seen his growth: what we need to see from him this year again, is that he be very aggressive, use all his talent, fight for the leading positions with confidence in what he can do. His technical understanding has really enriched, and he’s improving in all areas required of a driver: he’s still a young driver reaching a point where he must make an additional leap: the progress he’s made is really good, and we expect more from him.
Stake F1 to Audi. Stake F1 to Audi. F1 2024 to 2026 Stake F1 to Audi. 2026 Stake F1 to Audi
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