Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack says the target is to keep Fernando Alonso by providing him with a more competitive car than he could receive elsewhere.

Alonso is out of contract at the end of this season, and has acknowledged he could be an attractive proposition for the likes of Mercedes – which needs to replace Lewis Hamilton – due to his championships and experience. Alonso himself says he believes it is best for both himself and Aston Martin if he makes a decision on his future early, because of the potential movement in the driver market that could take place in 2025.

“It’s fair to me to not delay the team too much, for the team and for the options that they need to keep open,” he said in Jeddah.

Following that suggestion from the Spaniard, Krack says he is focused on ensuring Aston Martin is his most appealing option from a competitiveness standpoint.

“It’s not a secret that first of all he wants to decide for himself what he wants to do, and I think it’s also not a secret that I keep saying that we want to continue working with Fernando.” Krack said. “I also say that the most important is that we give him a quick car, so that he believes in this project and 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 caliber is attractive for everybody, but we will try to keep him.”

Krack points to the influence Alonso has on Aston Martin in terms of his approach and professionalism as being particularly crucial to the team’s development.

“We have seen that last year already when he joined, it’s not only what he brings in terms of driving talent and race craft, I think we don’t have to discuss that. But 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, it’s exemplary, and this is something that is infecting the whole team. That is something that you want to preserve.”

Alonso’s fifth place in Saudi Arabia was more encouraging for Aston Martin after a small return in Bahrain, but Krack says a clearer picture of the car’s performance will only be seen after Melbourne this weekend.

“I think it is a good baseline, but it has only been two or three events – the test and then two races – so you need to understand your car in different conditions. Also we drove at night, the races have been at night, so that’s something we will need to find out. But it’s a steep learning exercise, and we keep learning about it.”