Aston Martin team boss weighs in on Fernando Alonso’s ‘to the lions’ complaint

Michelle Foster
Spanish driver Fernando Alonso looking serious as he leans on the Aston Martin equipment ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso: Two-time F1 World Champion

As Fernando Alonso let rip at Aston Martin for throwing him “to the lions”, Mike Krack says he is fine with his driver’s comments as he wants a passionate driver.

Starting the Japanese Grand Prix on soft tyres, Alonso jumped up to sixth place in the early running but it alas meant an early pit stop for the Spaniard given the high temperatures and high degradation.

Coming out in the thick of the traffic, he wasn’t impressed and let the team know his thoughts.

Aston Martin boss ‘fine’ with Alonso’s passionate radio messages

“You’ve thrown me to the lions by stopping that early, mate,” he said over the radio. “Unbelievable!”

The double World Champion recovered to finish the grand prix in eighth place and accused FOM of “the same classic theme, the classic FOM radio, completely out of context” radio messages.

He added that while he was “not angry” with his pit wall, he was “upset because the first stop I think it was too early. I didn’t argue. I knew that we stopped too early. And it’s not a problem. Sometimes we benefit.”

As for Aston Martin’s side, Krack had no issue with his driver’s comments over the radio as he appreciated the passion.

“I think you can listen to the 20 drivers, and everybody’s really hard,” he said as per Autosport. “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, and it also opens up always a different view of things. So, absolutely fine.”

Krack accepted that Aston Martin faced a catch-22 situation at the Suzuka circuit as they went with a high downforce package to help with tyre wear.

That, however, meant less straight-line speed with Alonso frustrated at the difficulty of overtaking rival cars.

“The more you bolt-on, the better pace you have for better degradation, and vice versa,” the team boss explained.

“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.” recommends

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Can Aston Martin hold onto fourth place in the standings?

With Aston Martin scoring just four points in Japan and McLaren bringing in 32, the latter has closed the gap to the Silverstone team to just 49 points with six races remaining.

What was at it’s biggest 137 points has been whittled down as McLaren have made arguably the biggest gains on the track, team boss Andreas Stella putting that down to “pretty much” one second since the start of this season.

Krack concedes Aston Martin have “not done enough” to keep up with their rivals.

“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.

“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.”

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