Aston Martin are not resigned to finishing behind McLaren this year despite their rivals’ significant gains in the championship fight in recent races.
Aston Martin have only out-scored McLaren once in the last eight rounds, but team principal Mike Krack doesn’t believe their fate is sealed. “No, I think you always have your destiny in your own hands,” he said after the Qatar Grand Prix.
“You have to try and improve the car, which we still try to do and then try to fight this as hard as we can.”
He admitted the team don’t have the pace to beat McLaren “at the moment” and “it will be tough” to change that. “But we need to try,” he added. McLaren brought a significant upgrade to their MCL60 at the Singapore Grand Prix last month and Aston Martin will have some new parts for their car this weekend.
Krack took some encouragement from their performance in the Qatar Grand Prix where Fernando Alonso finished sixth, two places lower than he started.
“We were a little bit better than we were recently, but not enough to jump a position,” Krack summarised. “We managed to keep the Ferrari behind but then when the Ferrari was in front, we were also not able to pass it.
“I think it was not really a surprise because we need to also not forget that in qualifying we had a good ranking, but we had also some deleted lap times [due to track limits infringements]. So you think you are high up on the grid, but it is not 100 percent reflecting your performance.”
Aston Martin is also working on improvements to the seat overheating problems Alonso and team mate Lance Stroll referred to in recent races.
“Fernando reported this already a couple of times,” said Krack. “It’s not that we have not done anything because we had also a step in Singapore which we thought was much, much better but then obviously we have another set of extreme conditions. So I think we’re not far from air conditioning if it continues like it.”
“You have hydraulic lines, you have ECUs around you, they are all heating up,” he added. “They try to isolate this heat from it but also you do not want to have any kind of active cooling because it’s just weight.”
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