Krack: Aston Martin F1 is ’not lost’
"It is very important that we understand the data"
Amid a wild round of rumours this week, Fernando Alonso insists he is not yet ready to retire.
"For now, no," Fox Sports Mexico quotes the 42-year-old Spaniard as saying when asked if his long Formula 1 career might now be nearing its end.
"I know I’m in the closing part of my career, but for now, I don’t see it. I don’t have a date to put an end to my career," Alonso added.
But the rumours emerging from Spain were actually multi-pronged - believing either retirement could be on the cards for Aston Martin’s Alonso or a sensational seat swap with struggling Red Bull driver Sergio Perez.
Alonso secured a surprise string of podiums early this year, but some believe Aston Martin has become "lost" as the season progressed due to a series of failed car developments.
"You may have the impression that we are lost," team boss Mike Krack told DAZN. "But I think when you are lost, you don’t pay attention to the data anymore which makes you try things that are unreasonable.
"And that’s not the case," he insisted.
However, Aston Martin’s season has gotten so bad that the team is now regularly starting its drivers from the pitlane due to making late car setup changes amid parc ferme conditions.
"We want to compete and we don’t like starting from the pitlane," Krack said, "but it is very important that we understand the data.
"And the best way to understand what you’re doing is to go back to something you already know to compare it."
Krack admitted that Aston Martin still "don’t know what specification" of the 2023 car the team will field this weekend in Brazil.
So towards the end of a season in which Alonso was hailed for his performance, smiles and good moods, he actually left Mexico declaring "we are not fighting for anything" anymore in 2023.
"We are going to lose the places to the Ferrari, and to George (Russell) and to Lando (Norris). "All we can do now is learn."
So as Alonso’s mood has changed, rumours connecting Perez with the exit at Red Bull and a sensational seat swap with Alonso for 2024 have ramped up.
"Dr (Helmut) Marko says there is a contract for Perez in 2024," former F1 driver Vitaly Petrov said this week. "But we all know that people are fickle and a decision can change in an instant."
Alongside Alonso, another big contender linked with Perez’s seat is the resurgent Daniel Ricciardo, who says he empathises with the Mexican’s current situation.
"We’re all human," said the Australian. "We all have emotions and feelings. You never want anyone to be in Checo’s situation, surrounded by negativity.
"The only way to put an end to the rumours is on the track," Ricciardo added.
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