Aston Martin now feel inters error cost Fernando Alonso Monaco lead

Henry Valantine
Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso arrives at the Monaco paddock.

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso arrives in the paddock.

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has acknowledged that pitting for intermediates in Monaco at the first attempt could have led to the race lead for Fernando Alonso.

But, he added, that does not necessarily mean he would have gone on to win the race in such changeable conditions around Monte Carlo last weekend.

The team initially believed the win was not possible under any circumstances last weekend, with Max Verstappen having held a significant lead over Alonso in the race before the rain came.

But with Alonso having been closing in and rain intensifying, Alonso initially pitted for slick tyres before coming in again a lap later for intermediates, which eventually gave the Red Bull driver a more comfortable buffer at the front.

Had he taken intermediates the first time around, Red Bull believed the gap between the two drivers would have been extremely tight – and Aston Martin team boss Krack admitted that their simulations showed that Alonso could well have even taken the lead in Monaco last weekend, though the benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing.

“If aggressive means gambling then the answer is clearly no,” Krack said in Spain if the team’s strategists would take a more aggressive approach in future on the pit wall after missing out in Monaco.

“We are not gamblers, we are a data-driven team, we look at all the information we are having. So, if that is what you mean then the answer is clear.

“The computer system says that if we had gone to inters, we would have probably come in front of Max – but that does not mean we would have won the race.

“So yes, with the full benefit of hindsight, that would have been the case. But when you make the decisions, you have to rely on the data that you have.

“And that is also why I said before, we are not gambling. So, from that point of view, everything was working as you should have it work.

“And it’s clear that with the benefit of hindsight you might sometimes do things different.”

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Alonso first voiced his surprise at those who felt Aston Martin made an error in their strategy last weekend, given they reacted as best they could in the moment.

He followed that up in Barcelona by speaking of his displeasure at those on their “sofa” to say they knew better than those on the Aston Martin pit wall at the time, highlighting that negativity is the first thing people point to in Formula 1 rather than teams’ success.

Krack agreed with Alonso’s sentiment overall, but such criticism is a part of the game.

“Yeah, but that is the nature of Formula 1,” Krack said when asked if he backed his driver on this topic.

“So, you know, we see something we have to live with, we are exposed. And we want to be reported when everything runs well. And then we have also to accept if reports are coming out if things could have been better.

“It’s not really a drama. I understand Fernando, that he points this out because it is a fact.

“We know that and with the media, with the sport being so public and so under scrutiny, then it is clear that these things are also being discussed. For me, it’s not a problem.”