[Aston Martin: Alonso’s F1 radio comments not a sign he’s losing faith in team
Having started the 2023 season as Red Bull’s main rival, Aston Martin has slipped back into the chasing pack and is now having to fight hard just to finish in the points.
During the Suzuka race last weekend, Alonso did not hold back when it came to letting his feelings be known about how things were developing.
Having been the first top six runner to pit on a day when tyre degradation was massive, Alonso remarked: “You’ve thrown me to the lions by stopping that early.”
Later in the race he constantly bemoaned Aston Martin’s lack of straightline speed as he found himself unable to close in on the Alpine car that was running ahead of him.
Alonso is famous for making pointed remarks in the car, and his comments raised some intrigue against the backdrop of Aston Martin’s competitive struggles.
But team principal Mike Krack felt that there was nothing out of the ordinary with Alonso’s comments and that his team viewed them as more motivational than critical.
“I think you can listen to the 20 drivers, and everybody’s really hard,” he said. “Everybody’s passionate. If the driver would not be doing something like that, what driver is it?
Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team, with Mike Krack, Team Principal, Aston Martin F1 Team
Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images
“So, I think, it’s fine. For us, we take it as a motivation and it also opens up always a different view of things. So, absolutely fine.”
Krack explained that the lack of straightline speed that Alonso kept referencing was the result of the high downforce level that the team had opted for to help it better manage tyre degradation.
“The more you bolt-on, the better pace you have for better degradation, and vice versa,” he said.
“So, it’s a matter; you have to make a choice. At the end of the day, we’ve tried actually to go with a bit lower or to go with higher over the course of the weekend. And we finally decided to race like that.
“I think the car was a bit better than we expected in terms of performance in the race in terms of degradation. So, I think it was the right choice.”
Krack believes that Aston Martin’s current lack of competitiveness is a consequence of it not making the kind of progress with upgrades that rivals have.
“It’s development,” he said. “You see some competitors have really made big progress, some less, and it seems quite simple. We have not done enough.”
Asked if it was a case of Aston Martin having fallen away from Red Bull, or others have simply shuffled ahead of it in the order, Krack said: “I think it’s probably that others have filled the gap, more than the gap has become massively bigger.
“Surely we would have liked to have more performance from our upgrades, but there is still some to come, so I am confident that we can close a little bit the gap.”