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Aston Martin

Alonso, Stroll 'ears bleeding' from Aston Martin radio

The team was hot on the Austrian GP track limit debate last weekend.

Alonso Austria VT1
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Aston Martin Team Principal Mike Krack joked Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll's "ears were bleeding" following the team's constant radio warnings over track limits at the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Silverstone-based outfit lodged a protest against the provisional result post-race, which led to the stewards confirming that several drivers had managed to escape being penalised for track limit violations.

It was the second time this season Aston Martin and Sporting Director Andy Stevenson had achieved such a feat, having already done so in Jeddah.

A post-race penalty handed to Fernando Alonso was overturned on that occasion after it was proved that touching the car did not constitute working on it when serving a five-second time penalty in the pits.

Asked what the team did differently to rivals operationally to have successfully appealed twice this season, Krack told media, including RacingNews365.com: "I don't think that we do anything different than any other team.

"It is just a matter of preparation. It is part of the race, to look at that after a race or if you are protesting, or if something is not the way you think it has to be."

Krack: Drivers ears were bleeding from warning them of track limits

If a driver exceeds track limits three times they get a black and white driving standards flag, with a fourth violation resulting in a penalty. The team was well aware this could be an issue after 43 lap times were deleted during the 2022 race, with Sebastien Vettel being issued with a time penalty.

"Our drivers were instructed that we had the penalty last year, I think their ears were bleeding from us telling them what the penalty will be," said Krack.

Aston Martin noticed many drivers had neither been issued the driving standards flag, nor the subsequent penalty as a result.

"We saw that not all the infringements were penalised in the race. When we got the provisional race classification and we saw that it was still not done, then we decided to protest," explained Krack.

The FIA later admitted after the race that an influx of reports led to an "unprecedented situation" which prevented them from reviewing all potential track limits infringements.

A further 12 penalties were issued four hours after the chequered flag. This included a 10-second time penalty for Pierre Gasly which enabled Lance Stroll to climb up the order from 10th to 9th, and another 10-second penalty for Carlos Sainz which promoted Alonso to 5th.

Krack said the team trackside was helped by those at the factory also reviewing the footage, and corroborating with Stevenson.

He explained: "We have a strong team at home and we have a strong team at the track that is preparing [for] such situations, and I think this has helped us in these two occasions to be successful with our points."

Despite calls to improve the situation at the Red Bull Ring, Krack believed that it was still possible for drivers to keep within the boundaries set by the FIA in the rulebook.

"They [our drivers] managed to stay on track and the same for seven other drivers. So I think it's possible," he said.

F1 2023 British Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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