Aston Martin vow to learn from Q1 error in Miami that compromised Stroll’s weekend

Spread the love

Photo credits: Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team

This year’s Miami Grand Prix saw Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team secure yet another podium in 2023 and once again it went to former 2-time F1 Drivers’ World Champion Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard’s teammate, Lance Stroll crossed the line in P12 but had always been up against it after tight margins, significant track evolution and an aggressive tyre strategy had seen Stroll finish qualifying the previous day in P18. Aston Martin’s Performance Director Tom McCullough and Team Principal Mike Krack reflected on this qualifying error and what they will learn from it.


The 2023 Miami Grand Prix saw all 20 cars cross the finish line which meant any positions gained on track by Lance Stroll from back in P18 would be done on merit. The team took the same race day strategy approach as race victor Max Verstappen as they chose the hard-medium one stop strategy but were far less fortunate in its execution. Much to the annoyance of Stroll who told media post-race “I think it just wasn’t the right strategy. It wasn’t good enough.” Strategy can only do so much – the real error came during qualifying.


Mike Krack admitted to media in Miami that the team had made an error by not choosing to supply Lance Stroll with a second set of new tyres in Q1. That approach had seen Fernando Alonso make it into Q2 by a small margin, but Stroll missed out.


“There was no need to take that risk,” Krack said. “And I think as a team, have some stats, some predictions, to get yourself what the cut-off will be. And in this thing, we were not good enough. I think we were maybe a bit greedy, trying to move forward and carry it into Q3 to have another set, on additional set. But we have to take our lesson from it and do better next time.”


Tom McCullough, Performance Director also shared his thoughts on the approach and stated “It’s always that balance between saving race tyres. We had the potential to go through, but it was too close. We shouldn’t have been that aggressive.”

Aston Martin’s Team Principal, Mike Krack, had described qualifying as ‘a particularly tricky day to manage.’ He also went into greater detail about Stroll’s qualifying and agreed with McCullough in regard to his opinion.

“We were too aggressive with our tyre strategy in Q1, choosing to keep both drivers on used Softs for their second runs. It was a marginal call, and it didn’t work out: the track ramped up and drivers on fresh rubber found a lot of lap-time. It meant that Lance finished the session an unrepresentative 18th overall. If we’d done a better job, he would have comfortably made it into the next two sessions. We’ll learn from that for the future.”

As for Lance Stroll’s race day performance, Tom McCullough remarked: “With no DNFs and no Safety Cars, it was difficult for Lance to make progress through the field. Add low degradation to the mix and it became even trickier – because a lot of cars were able to run at a similar pace. But he managed his race extremely well, was typically brave on the brakes and made up plenty of places to finish 12th.”


Despite the struggles on one side of the garage, Fernando Alonso brought home another podium to Aston Martin. Even so, Mike Krack told media post-race in Miami that it is important for his team ‘to keep their feet on the ground’.

However, Aston Martin have concluded the most recent F1 double-header with a tally of 37 points. This ensured the team remain P2 in the Constructors’ Championship. Meanwhile, with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team now finding some form from their W14, all eyes are on Imola (which signals the start of the latest triple-header) to see whether Aston Martin can extend their lead or will they finally start being hunted down by their rivals.