Aston Martin boss Mike Krack has dismissed Fernando Alonso’s belief that the team’s recent slump is a result of the mid-season tyre construction change.
Alonso, who turns 42 on Saturday, restated his theory in the Spa-Francorchamps paddock on Thursday.
According to the Spaniard, “The rules changed in the middle of the year, and we haven’t properly adapted to the new tyres yet. So we need to do better.”
He added, “I don’t think it’s a particular characteristic of these tyres; it’s just that we are slower with them. I don’t have all the information that Pirelli has, but I’m not a fan of changing the tyres in the middle of a season. But it’s been several years of doing this – with the flexibility of the wings, the exhausts.”
“It shouldn’t be like that because if a team has found something better, they should be able to end the year like that. And if it wasn’t legal before, then they couldn’t have run the first 10 races with those parts,” Alonso further explained.
Conversely, team boss Krack has chosen a more diplomatic stance, avoiding direct blame on Formula 1’s rule-makers and Pirelli.
“That would be an easy excuse, wouldn’t it?” remarked the German.
He continued, “We do acknowledge that there’s a slight difference with these tyres, but they were brought in for safety. So from that standpoint, everybody has to use them, and it’s the same for everybody.”
“Basically, I don’t think we should use this argument as an excuse for our competitiveness because these are the same tyres we have to use in the future. So it’s more about learning as much as possible about them and moving on,” Krack emphasized.
In an effort to bounce back, Aston Martin has introduced a new floor for the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.
“With the sprint, the weather, and little practice time, it’s a challenging combination for us here,” admitted Krack.
He added, “But what should we do? We anticipate an improvement, so we’re bringing the new parts.”
Krack believes that the new tyres are just one facet of the “incredibly complex” technical situation for teams in Formula 1’s new ground effect era.
“It’s no longer sufficient to simply add downforce,” he explained. “Because you can get bouncing or the balance no longer works.”
Acknowledging some mistakes in recent decisions regarding development and setup, Krack acknowledged, “Some of our old strengths have now become our weaknesses.”