'He's Old Fox': Alonso's Cunning Race Strategy Revealed By Krack

Sunday, 17 March 2024 at 12:02
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Aston Martin's team principal, Mike Krack, discussed Fernando Alonso's cunning strategic thinking with an example from the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
After his yet another incredible qualifying performance, Fernando Alonso started the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from the P4 on the grid.
Astons were not working in the few opening laps of the race, so the Spanish Matador lost a position with Piastri, but he then managed to maintain a gap between him and George Russell to finish in P5.
In the middle of his second stint on the hard compound tires, Alonso asked his team for "Plan B." By doing so, he gave his team something to think about while also keeping competitors guessing. Mike Krack said:

"He asked for the Plan B, basically. 'Is there a Plan B?' Fernando is always teasing you, you have to be careful if he's really honest about it, because he knows all the strategies before, he knows where all the field is."

"And sometimes he maybe does it even on purpose, because he knows the competitors are listening. So he's an old fox."

Alonso is notorious for using only "1%" of his brain on driving itself, the rest on strategies and everything else that happens around him in the race.

"But he always wakes us up. As soon as you think for one lap you can read it, there comes a radio call, and he says, 'What about Plan B?', like Fernando always does. So we then had a look at the Plan B, but you will not finish where you finish with Plan B."

The team principal also praised the 43-year-old for his performance during the race. He added that he couldn't see any of the remaining 19 drivers on the grid being able to maintain the gap to Russell like Alonso did.

We knew George was behind, he had good speed, and we did not want to let him into the DRS. So it was all the time between 1.5 and 1.0 seconds in between them."

"And then it is always how much do I manage, and how much do I push to get to the end? But I think he managed it like probably nobody else can. I don't know where he got the gaps from. In my opinion he was always on top of the situation."