At the recent Suzuka race, Fernando Alonso made his disappointment quite clear. As the first top six runner to pit, facing massive tyre degradation, Alonso chose strong words: “You’ve thrown me to the lions by stopping that early.”
Throughout the race, Alonso vocalised his frustrations with the lack of straight-line speed of his Aston Martin, unable to catch up to the Alpine car in front of him. Alonso’s comments against Aston Martin‘s performance struggle sparked interest.
However, Aston Martin‘s team principal Mike Krack didn’t see anything unusual in Alonso’s comments. In fact, the team perceived these remarks as motivation rather than criticism. Krack stated, “I think you can listen to the 20 drivers, and everybody’s really hard. Everybody’s passionate. If the driver would not be doing something like that, what driver is it? So, I think, it’s fine. For us, we take it as a motivation.”
Krack revealed that the straight-line speed issues Alonso mentioned were due to the high downforce level the team had chosen for better tyre degradation management. “The more you bolt-on, the better pace you have for better degradation, and vice versa,” Krack explained.
Krack defended Aston Martin‘s low competitiveness by blaming it on the lack of progress with upgrades compared to their competitors. He stated, “It’s development. You see some competitors have really made big progress, some less, and it seems quite simple. We have not done enough.”
In response to whether Aston Martin has declined compared to Red Bull, or if other competitors have surged ahead, Krack responded, “I think it’s probably that others have filled the gap, more than the gap has become massively bigger.” Despite wishing they had improved more from upgrades, he remains optimistic that there is more performance to come and they can still bridge the gap.