Aston Martin Team Principal Mike Krack says there is not a “marked gap in performance” between Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll despite the huge points deficit between the two in the standings.
Since arriving to replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel over the winter, Alonso has scored seven podium finishes in his debut campaign with Aston Martin to sit third in the Drivers’ Championship on 168 points.
However, Stroll, who missed the entirety of pre-season testing with two broken wrists, has only been able to muster a tally of 47 points from the first 13 rounds to sit 121 points and six places behind his team-mate.
While Alonso returned Aston Martin to the podium for the first time since the Canadian Grand Prix in June last Sunday at Zandvoort, Stroll trailed home a disappointing 11th.
Krack, though, has attributed the continuation of the Canadian’s struggles at the Dutch Grand Prix to the Silverstone side committing to the wrong strategy calls during the mixed conditions seen on Sunday.
“Well I think in the first place we have to look back and look at the strategy we have adopted in Zandvoort,” Krack began.
“Lance had a strong weekend up to then, but as a team we have to take responsibility for a call which was not decisive enough, which ruined his race at the end of the day, and we need to get better in such situations, it doesn’t help him, but as a team we should have done a better job.”
Krack has urged people to not pay attention to the points gap between Alonso and Stroll, asserting that it doesn’t reflect the true underlying performance of his two drivers.
“No there is not a marked gap in performance, there is a marked gap in points,” he responded when asked about the pair’s points tallies. “It is important to separate the two.
“As a team we are analysing the season from both perspectives, on both drivers, and I think we as a team need to do a much, much better job on that side of the garage, race strategy, reliability issues, it’s something we need to do much better.”
The Aston Martin chief has also ruled out the possibility that Stroll’s troubles are emanating from issues with a certain car characteristic of the team’s AMR23 charger.
“No I don’t think so, if you look at the last qualifying sessions, Q1 at Zandvoort nothing between them, I don’t think there’s any characteristics,” he expressed.
Krack remains confident that Stroll can match Alonso in the same way he stacked up reasonably well against four-time champion Vettel in their two years together.
“I think he can be just the same, like last year, we had all these discussions when Sebastian joined the team and it went pretty well, and there’s no reason why it should not be the same,” he noted.
When asked what a reasonable deficit would be, Krack replied: “I think in general between drivers there is always a certain, let’s say, gap, that I would say that is not normal but circumstantial, sometimes traffic or a glitch in one corner, but normally I think the drivers are normally within three tenths.”
Meanwhile, Krack has also ruled out that Stroll won’t be returning alongside Alonso next year, stating: “We will be fine next year with the two drivers [we have].”
Pressed on whether he sees a scenario where Stroll might question his own future, Krack said: “No, we have seen over the last few weeks a very hard-working driver, trying to analyse every little detail, being in the simulator, driving a lot, there’s nothing that goes in that direction.”