Canadian Grand Prix lift and coast call was a precaution according to Mike Krack

Spread the love

Mike Krack says Fernando Alonso was asked to lift and coast during the Canadian Grand Prix as a precaution as the team were unsure of whether an issue had developed or not.

Alonso alongside Hamilton at the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix
Photo: AstonMartinF1 on twitter

During yesterday’s Canadian Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Fernando Alonso was asked by the team to lift and coast while the Spaniard was working to maintain a gap to the charging Lewis Hamilton behind.

“We were not sure.”

While the call was not explained during the race, leading to speculation as to the nature of the call, Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack explained afterwards that the call was precautionary as the team were monitoring a potential issue with the fuel system.

“I knew that was the first question!” Krack joked when asked about the call. “We thought we had a problem with the fuel system, but we were not sure. So as a precaution we said the best is to save some fuel and to do lift and coast.

“How much it cost us? It’s difficult to judge. A few tenths probably, one or two maybe.”

“We wanted to be safe.”

Krack remained somewhat evasive when pressed for more information, saying the team finished with “enough” fuel but eventually admitting Alonso finished the race with more fuel remaining than would usually be required.

He elaborated on the decision, claiming the team chose to lift and coast as they did not want to risk losing the podium finish had the issue materialised, even at the cost of some pace.

“It was a precautionary thing but, you know, you can choose between not finishing or arriving with a bit more [fuel] so, we wanted to be safe.”

“We had no problem with the brakes.”

Krack was then asked if the team had suffered brake overheating issues as suggested by commentary as well as communications to Lewis Hamilton during the race. This was due to the lack of context given to Alonso on why lifting was required, leading to others in the paddock speculating, much to the amusement of Mike Krack and Aston Martin.

“No no, there was nothing,” Krack stated when quizzed about a potential brake issue. “I was surprised too to see the comment. Lewis [Hamilton] I think was told we had a brake problem. We looked at each other and said ‘oh, they know more about our car than we do. Maybe we should speak to all the Mercedes engineers’. No, we had no problem with the brakes.”

Alonso was initially told by his engineer to increase his lift and coast as early as lap 25 of 70, just three laps after he had passed Lewis Hamilton for P2.

Cronin (Engineer), lap 25: Okay Fernando we’ll do some more lift-and-coast, more lift-and-coast.

These messages would continue for the majority of the race with Chris Cronin, Alonso’s engineer, regularly chiming in to both remind and encourage the Spaniard as he worked to balance his fuel saving with defending from Hamilton.

Cronin, lap 31: Fernando we do need to keep doing the lift-and-coast please, keep doing the lift-and-coast

Alonso asked Cronin to let him know when he could stop lift and coast on lap 47, only to be be reminded to continue with the process at that time.

Alonso, lap 47: Okay, tell me when lift-and-coast is okay, to stop doing it.

Cronin, lap 47: Yeah, we will do. But please keep doing it now. Please keep doing it.