Aston Martin boss jokes about Lewis Hamilton

Aston Martin have clarified radio messages made during the Canadian Grand Prix regarding fuel system concerns.

In a strategic move during the Canadian Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso of the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team was asked to engage in a “lift and coast” technique as a precautionary measure. 

Team principal Mike Krack emphasised the importance of being cautious rather than risking retirement from the race.

Alonso found himself in a fierce battle with Lewis Hamilton for second place at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve when a radio message instructed the Spaniard to lift and coast at the end of the straights. 

The Aston Martin pit wall suspected a developing issue with the fuel system, prompting them to exercise caution.

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Over the radio, Alonso expressed his eagerness to run at full speed again, hoping to challenge Max Verstappen of Oracle Red Bull Racing at the front of the field. 

Despite his desire to push harder, the precautionary fuel-saving strategy remained in effect until the chequered flag. 

Nevertheless, Alonso’s performance secured him a second-place finish, matching his best result of the season.

Krack explained that the suspected problem was causing a slight loss of time, costing them a few tenths of a second per lap. 

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However, instead of risking a potential retirement from the race, the team prioritized reaching the chequered flag while managing the perceived issue.

“We thought we had a problem on the fuel system, but we were not sure, so as a precaution, we said the best is to save some fuel and to lift and coast,” Krack revealed. 

Assessing the impact of the strategy, he added: “How much did it cost us? It’s difficult to judge. A few tenths, probably one or two. It was a precautionary thing, but you can choose between not finishing or arriving with a bit more [fuel], so we wanted to be safe.”

During the race, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team radioed Hamilton, suggesting that Aston Martin might be experiencing brake issues. 

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However, Krack clarified that there were no problems in that department, expressing surprise at the speculation. 

“I was surprised as well to see that,” Krack said.

“I think Lewis [Hamilton] was told we had a brake problem, and we looked at each other and said, ‘They know more about our car than we do!’ No, we had no problem with the brakes.”