Fernando Alonso was surprised by the questions about the strategy decision in F1 Monaco GP, as Mike Krack adds team’s view.

Moments before rain came down hard, Aston Martin pitted Alonso for new sets of medium in F1 Monaco GP which raised questions in the media about their decision. The Spaniard had to quickly come in for the intermediate tyres making it one extra stop.

Even though there was less of a chance for Alonso to challenge Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for the win, an extra stop meant an outside chance was gone too. But the Spaniard was surprised by such questions by the media as he explained the situation.

When they took the call to pit, it was not the time to put the intermediate tyres and the set of hard was losing temperature making it harder to drive with a chance of a barrier hit. Of course, in hindsight, they wouldn’t have done that but it was a quick call then.

Aston Martin banked on it to be a short shower which eventually was proven wrong. Fortunately, for them Alpine’s Esteban Ocon was quite far away which helped them to pit Alonso again and keep him ahead to secure a solid second place.

Happy with result –

Alonso: “I’m very happy. I think the race was not easy to execute. When the rain came, made things a little bit difficult for everybody. Especially when you are on a podium place, you don’t want anything strange to happen, any choas. And yeah, I was expecting a lot of Safety Cars and things, which didn’t come. I think everyone was behaving really well and controlling a very difficult car – between [Turns] Five and Eight especially. So yeah, I have been few times third this year; today second, so we only miss that one step.”

Strategy call –

Alonso: “I don’t know. I heard this question in the TV pen as well. Which, I was surprised a little bit. I didn’t leave the race from the cockpit, as you probably saw on the outside. For me, it was very clear that the track on that lap we stop was completely dry, apart from Turn 7 and 8. So, how will put the Inters? It was completely dry, 99 per cent of the track. So, I stopped for dries. The weather forecast, it was small shower, and the small quantity of rain as well, what we had, as a team, and we had a lot of margin behind us, to put the dry tyres and, if necessary, the Inter tyres, so, you know, maybe it was extra safe, I don’t know. When it started raining into turn five, six, and seven, I was with the hard tyres and they were quite old with 50 laps and it was difficult to put temperature on those tyres and in that part of the circuit. So we thought about stopping and the decision was to stop for the mediums or the inters.

“I said we go for the dries, we go for dries because turns five, six, seven it was a few drops of rain and the rest of the circuit was dry. And then it rains heavier. That minute and a half that it took to go through Turns 5, 6, 7 and 8 again, it changed completely, so the out-lap on the dry tyres, it was very wet when I go to those corners, but the lap that we stopped, it was completely dry. And then the inters was a better choice. It stopped raining or it only rains in those three corners for five minutes and then you’ve made the right choice. This is wet races in Formula 1. And we are P2 so we are very happy, very happy with the race because the P1 was very fast today,  on any tyre, in any condition Max was always 15 or 20 seconds in front of us. So there was no chance to win today.”

Pit call –

Krack: “I am not 100% sure. We need to look at the whole thing, how it went. Obviously, you try to stay out as long as you can in such conditions when you do not really know what’s going to happen. We did not anticipate so much rain, to be honest. So we thought that it would just be a short shower, and drying quickly because the track was very hot. Then normally, you would say, okay, we stay out one more, two or three more laps, but the tyres were worn already quite a lot. And we saw the temperatures going down. So that was a bit of a risk. When the car came in then with this information, we said, okay, let’s fit the mediums. But then when the car left, shortly after we saw that it was really a lot of rain. And we had to come back.

“Honestly, we thought we could go to the end with the mediums because it will dry quickly. But then we misjudged a bit that it was raining because in this part of the track [the pitlane] it took very long before it started to rain. And also this area, it rained the least. So probably that was a bit a misjudgement, because we thought also that the inters would wear down massively in this part of the track. At the end of the day, it was a conscious decision to go on the mediums. And we saw then a lap later that it was not going to work. And we decided to call him back.”

Win possible before pit call –

Krack: “No, I don’t think it was lost. Because if we had fitted intermediates Max would have fitted intermediates as well. And also he had the gap. So I don’t think it would have changed much.”

Hindsight –

Krack: “You see these things but especially in such a situation you do not want this to happen to you. If a world class driver like Max goes out like that, you think it is better that you don’t do this as well. At the end of the day, these are calls which are made in a short amount of time, when you have not maybe the same information as everybody, depends on where your driver is on track and where in the garage. I think overall we must not be too greedy, we should look back and see what were our objectives. We came here to do better than what we have done so far. I think this we managed. And I think the Red Bulls were a little bit too fast for us.”

Analysis of what else could have been done –

Krack: “I would need more amount of information as we are very shortly after the race. We will playback everything and check what should we have done if something different. As I said, these calls are made in a very short amount of time. And then you have to live with it, when you have decided, you have to execute. Because otherwise you have two wets and two slicks on the car. So once you have made the call, you have to execute. Because anything that you try to revert, then it will go completely wrong. We will look into it, we will learn from it, and we try to do better next time.”

Input from Alonso –

Krack: “Fernando was giving us the right information, it was raining hard at this part of the track and it was not raining in another part. As I said before, Fernando has driven in Le Mans in difficult conditions with slicks in the wet and all that. He was in no time saying that I am going off or something like that, he was always very in control of what he was doing. And then we knew that we have to change, it was a race with the others. We thought we could get away with the slicks but at the end we see it wasn’t. We have quite a good understanding between driver and team. And sometimes the driver says you go with it. In this case we decided to fit the slicks. Fernando was happy with it. And then after he was also happy to have the inters back on.”

Here’s Red Bull being surprised with the call

Here’s how F1 Monaco GP panned out