Aston Martin co-operation: Fernando Alonso wasn’t always that nice to his team-mates

Michelle Foster
Fernando Alonso gives Lance Stroll a pat on the back. Saudi Arabia March 2023

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso gives Lance Stroll a pat on the back. Saudi Arabia March 2023

Displaying a level of co-operation not often seen in Formula 1, Austrian racing driver Walter Lechner Jr. says Fernando Alonso hasn’t always been “that nice” to his team-mates.

Aston Martin impressed Formula 1 fans and pundits at Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix when Alonso worked together with his team-mate Lance Stroll to grab yet another double points-haul for the Silverstone team.

Running behind Lewis Hamilton in the opening laps, Alonso had his team-mate Stroll right behind him with the Canadian telling Aston Martin over the radio to let Alonso know that he “won’t attack” him for position.

Informed of this, Alonso replied: “I mean, he can have a go. I think Hamilton is opening the graining, it’s just a matter of time we will take them.”

Later in the race, Alonso told the team to “tell Lance my brake balance suggestion as I am now. I think it’s good help.”

That level of co-operation is not often seen from Alonso, points out Austrian racing driver Walter Lechner Jr. recommends

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He told Austrian broadcaster ORF: “Fernando wasn’t always that nice to his teammates. But he maintains a good relationship with Lance and also with his father, the team owner.

“Almost everything stays in the family, even data transfer.”

The Spaniard, though, says he always works with his team-mate – F1 just doesn’t often broadcast his kinder messages.

“I had in the past,” he said as per The Race, “but only some of my radio was broadcast. For whatever reason now, F1 [broadcasting] is kind to me.”

Fernando Alonso preparing Lance Stroll to lead AM ‘for the next 10 or 15 years’

Alonso later explained he’s more than willing to help Stroll because he feels he’s preparing the driver to lead Aston Martin for the next decade or so.

“We talk a lot during the weekend, already from Thursday,” he said, “what we both felt here in the past, in traffic what we will do, what will be the plan for each of the cars.

“If we feel something in the car during the race that we didn’t speak about and there’s something new that can help the other car, normally we communicate to the team.

“Yeah, it has been like this. I know that I will be in the sport for a few more years but not many, and he will lead the team for the next 10 or 15 years, so I hope I can help Lance in the next few years.”

He added to Sky Deutschland: “Lance and I try to help the team everywhere and, if we find something in the car that hasn’t been discussed in the strategy meeting, then we pass it on straight away which is our strength and that’s why we are also second in the Constructors’ World Championship.”

Team boss Mike Krack takes his ‘hat off to both of them’

Team boss Mike Krack had only praise for his drivers after they brought home the team’s third double points-haul of the season.

Speaking about their teamwork he said: “Of course, that is very valuable. We are now fighting against the big players and not against each other. The bottom line is that we would only lose if we did that. I take my hat off to both of them.”

He, however, rubbished the big brother/little brother suggestion.

“Lance is not a little brother, they are both equal level,” said the German.

“You have many times where Fernando looks at what Lance is doing and vice versa, so I think they are proper team-mates, not big brother and little brother. You can say older and younger perhaps.”

Aston Martin left Baku still second in the Constructors’ Championship, 93 points behind Red Bull and 11 ahead of Mercedes.