Stroll’s top speed radio rant triggered by F1 tyre offset, says Aston Martin

Stroll found himself having to battle through the field at Suzuka after a disappointing qualifying performance had left him down in 16th on the grid.

He did manage to make progress, eventually finishing 12th in the race at Suzuka but, in the closing stages, as he fought the RB of Yuki Tsunoda, he voiced his frustration at the rate his Japanese rival was pulling away on the straights.

«It’s unbelievable how bad our speed is on the straight, man,» declared Stroll. «It’s like a different category!»

The manner of his message reminded many of the famous ‘GP2 engine’ radio outburst that his Aston Martin team-mate Fernando Alonso launched at the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix against Honda.

But, rather than Stroll’s outburst being a reference to a lack of straightline performance from Aston Martin, which has worked a lot in improving its aero efficiency since last year, the reality of what he was experiencing was quite different.

Team principal Mike Krack revealed after the race that he had looked into the circumstances surrounding Stroll’s complaint and found that it was actually nothing to do with the Canadian’s Aston Martin lacking top speed through either too much drag or not enough engine power.

Instead, he said it was an illusion that had been caused by rivals around him having better tyres, which gave them much greater traction out of corners so they could accelerate and reach top speed earlier.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR24

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR24

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

«This is something I have looked at actually,» said Krack when asked by Autosport about what was happening with Stroll.

«What you see across the field is that there are very small differences in terms of straightline performance. But what you have is that at different times of the race, there are different tyre conditions, and the acceleration out of the corners is a different one.

«I think a lot of these comments come from such situations.

«If you look at the power-limited data, you see that all the cars are very, very similar. But the tyre conditions at various times of the race, you are offset by 10-12-15 laps of tyres, and then you accelerate completely differently.»

Speed trap figures from the Japanese GP show there were only very small differences between Stroll and Tsunoda.

At the sector two speed trap, which is on the run down to 130R, Tsunoda’s top speed in the race was registered at 304.8km/h, while Stroll logged 303.4km/h.

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