Alonso: Aston focus on race pace skewed FP2 times

© XPB 

Fernando Alonso says Aston Martin focused first and foremost on its race pace and high-fuel running in Friday’s second practice session in Mexico City, which justified the team’s position at the tail end of the field.

Alonso and teammate Lance Stroll concluded their opening day of running at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez respectively P20 and P18.

The low-key result suggested that the performance of Team Silverstone’s updated AMR23 had perhaps been significantly hindered by Mexico’s high-altitude environment.

But Alonso insisted that Aston’s muted display was circumstantial rather than a reflection of its car’s absolute pace at the venue.

The Spaniard was also caught out by a spin in the session while Stroll lost a fair amount of track time due to a stuck left front wheel that needed to be hammered off by his crews.

“We focused a lot on race pace today and high fuel running and things like that,” explained the two-time world champion.

“It’s difficult to read the times but the car felt good and we’re understanding the package more and more. Tomorrow when we add performance, we will see where we are.”


Aston team boss Mike Krack echoed Alonso’s comments and said that he was not the least bit worried by his team’s seemingly dismal performance.

"Basically we had the normal start of the session,” Krack told Sky F1. “Then we didn't manage with soft tyres to put the lap together. Fernando, probably you have seen, he spun in Turn 8.

“And we had an issue to remove the front left tyre from Lance's car. And then we were not ready when the sky opened. We were on track with the new softs, and unfortunately, we could not set a lap."

After Aston split its updates between its two cars at last weekend’s US Grand Prix, Alonso and Stroll are both running the new package in Mexico City.

However, Krack acknowledged that fine tuning its car in Mexico’s challenging environment was no easy task.

"Coming to Mexico with the altitude is always something that you have to get used to,” commented Krack.

“You have a lot less downforce, less than Monza, despite the big wings. So that's something that all the drivers need to get used to. Also it's very, very smooth surface here.

“We have the softest tyres, and it's something you have to get used to. But it's the same for everybody. At the end of the day, we continue to learn about our upgrades.

"We did some experiments this morning, and also this afternoon and it was actually quite encouraging. Obviously, when you are finishing on the board like this, nobody's happy. But it is not a true reflection."

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