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F1 team principal admits DOUBLE PODIUM covered up 'weaknesses'

F1 team principal admits DOUBLE PODIUM covered up 'weaknesses'

F1 team principal admits DOUBLE PODIUM covered up 'weaknesses'

F1 team principal admits DOUBLE PODIUM covered up 'weaknesses'

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has admitted that Fernando Alonso's podiums in Monaco and Canada 'masked weaknesses' in their car.

As the team heads into the summer break, they sit third in the 2023 Constructors’ Championship with 196 points, 51 points behind Mercedes, their closest rivals.

While no team has been able to best the dominant Red Bulls – Aston Martin, Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren are battling it out for spots further up the standings.

Aston Martin had a very strong start to the year with Alonso gracing the podium on six occasions in his short few months with the team so far – but progress has slowed in recent weeks.

Fernando Alonso has stood on six podiums so far this year

Krack expressed his disappointment at the team’s change in fortunes, but attributed it to the progress made by other teams, rather than failures by Aston Martin themselves.

In an interview on the Aston Martin website, he said: “We've lost small amounts compared to our competitors and as an engineer, that makes you disappointed, but it's the qualifying and finishing positions that give the perception that we've dropped back massively when in reality we haven't.

“Our competitors have just improved more than us and jumped into that gap between us and Red Bull.”

Krack: We didn’t anticipate side effects to car changes

The team principal explained that given the complexity of the cars, any upgrades and alterations can impact the rest of the machine – something he said affected Aston Martin’s performance in the latter part of the season so far.

Krack said: “We're constantly pushing the development, and these cars are so complex that any change will impact other areas of the car – there are side effects. Very few changes you make to the car work in isolation.

“We made a change earlier in the season and didn't anticipate it having some of the side effects that it did. It wasn't until after several races at different types of circuits that we realised how it was influencing the car.

“The upgrades we have put on the car have worked, and the numbers are where they should be – but I think the results over the last few races are representative of where we are.”

He also noted that strong results and the Monaco Grand Prix and the Canadian Grand Prix, where Alonso took P2 in both races, ‘masked the weaknesses’ of the car.

Krack added that the Hungarian Grand Prix, where Alonso came in P9 and team-mate Lance Stroll in P10, was a ‘reality check’.

Fernando Alonso finished in P2 at the Monaco Grand Prix

He explained: “Events like Monaco and Canada were outliers – they masked the weaknesses – and because we did well in those events, expectations ramped up only for the disappointment to be bigger at Barcelona, Austria, Silverstone and Budapest when we couldn't achieve such top results.”

Asked how disappointed he was with the result in Hungary, he said: “Budapest was a reality check.

“We thought that we would be strong there and we weren't, but it made us take a zoomed-out view and look not at Hungary in isolation but see Budapest and how it relates to Silverstone, how it relates to Barcelona and so on. It's all important learning.

“From the start of the season, I've been saying that these events are very dynamic, and with an upgrade it takes a couple of races to understand what the AMR23 is doing. After lots of analysis in the aftermath of Budapest we understand the changes we need to make.

“We've improved less than the others so now it's up to us to improve more than them.”

READ MORE: Brundle names the ONE F1 driver operating well above expectations

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