Fernando Alonso was asked to ‘lift and coast’ during the Canadian Grand Prix as a precaution, with Team Principal Mike Krack insisting it was best to be careful than to risk retiring from the race.
Alonso was running second at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and battling with Lewis Hamilton when a radio message was sent to the Spaniard to lift and coast at the end of the straights, with the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team pit wall believing an issue with the fuel system was developing.
He was heard over the radio asking when he could run at full speed again as he wanted to take the fight to Oracle Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen at the front of the field, but the precaution ran until the chequered flag, although he had done enough to match his best finish of the season in second.
Krack says the problem was costing them a few tenths of a second per lap, but rather than risk retirement, it was important to see the chequered flag and manage their so-called problem.
“We thought we had a problem on the fuel system, but we were not sure, so as a precaution, we said the best is to save some fuel and to lift and coast,” Krack is quoted as saying by RacingNews365.com.
“How much did it cost us? It’s difficult to judge. A few tenths, probably one or two.
“It was a precautionary thing, but you can choose between not finishing, or arriving with a bit more [fuel], so we wanted to be safe.”
The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team were heard over the radio telling Hamilton that Aston Martin were possibly suffering brake issues, but Krack insists there was never anything wrong in that department.
“I was surprised as well to see that,” Krack added. “I think Lewis [Hamilton] was told we had a brake problem, and we looked at each other and said, ‘They know more about our car than we do!’
“No, we had no problem with the brakes.”