Fernando Alonso explains his radio call in F1 Japanese GP, as Mike Krack notes of no trouble between driver and team.
Aston Martin is going through a low-key phase where it lost second and even third in the constructors’ standings to both Mercedes and Ferrari. Now they are in danger of losing fourth to the rising McLaren which will certainly hurt the once termed as hunters.
After initial success with podium finishes, the team has only managed one podium in the last eight races and the F1 Japanese GP was another difficult one where Alonso couldn’t even fight for the Top 5 places and was left to fend for lower half places.
The team tried to stop him early in a strategy play but it didn’t work out as he lost places after places against the late stoppers. He voiced his opinion on the radio while stating that ‘you have thrown me to lions’, which he explained after the grand prix.
“Well, not angry, I think it’s the same classic theme, the classic FOM radio, completely out of context,” said Alonso to media. “I’m not sure exactly what other drivers say when they are behind a car that is slower and on the straight, they are pulling away even when you open the DRS. Maybe they say, ‘I’m okay, I’m happy to stay here and to stay behind’.
“But I prefer to be motivated, to overtake them. On track, as I said, I was slower even with the DRS open. So I called for a different strategy, we stopped, we beat them. So that’s the way we do it. We beat everyone on track, even if the radio is the highlight. I think we were fast in the race, faster than what we thought, in terms of pace.
“I was behind the Ferraris, in front of Hamilton with not too much pressure. I think in lap 12 we stopped. And I think it was to cover Tsunoda, which was a bit of a surprise there. After that stop, obviously, the race is very long from that moment onwards. Maybe that was a mistake. But easy to say now.
“I think arguably the final result would be P8, after the top teams. So it didn’t change much in our race. I 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,” summed up Alonso, who too will face stiff challenge to push himself back in Top 3.
From the team side, Krack wasn’t too fussed about the radio call from Alonso as he put it down as a heat of a moment thing. Even on the strategy, he reckoned that they did right as per the situation as they wanted to force their rivals in stopping early too.
“I think we had two hard tyres, and the Ferraris they had only one,” said Krack. “We tried to anticipate the first stint, the first stop, you have to force them as well to go early. So I understand the strategy. So there is nothing wrong with it. But when you have a very slow car on the straights and you are into traffic, it can be that there are moments of rage that you lose momentum.
“It happened, but I’m perfectly fine. 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 and it also opens up always a different view of things. So, absolutely fine.
“The more you bolt-on, the better pace you have for better degradation, and vice versa. 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,” summed up Krack.
Here’s Aston Martin giving Jessica Hawkins a test run