Max Verstappen and his race engineer, Gianpiero Lambiase, have a dynamic partnership that can be described as nothing short of “intense.”
Despite some apparent frustration on Lambiase’s part during the Miami Grand Prix, where Verstappen fought his way through the field, Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, has denied any rumours of a feud between the two.
It’s clear that the relationship between Verstappen and Lambiase is a crucial factor in the Dutchman’s success on the track, and their strong connection is likely to continue to play a significant role in Red Bull’s future races.
Max Verstappen queried his race engineer regarding the performance of the front wing and differentials on various types of tires, and Lambiase responded assertively.
“Max, please concentrate on driving while I look at that on the pit wall,” said Lambiase in a tense manner.
In contrast, Horner has made it clear that there is no friction between the duo, and the Red Bull driver is merely unafraid to express his opinions candidly.
Horner in an interview with Speedweek said: “Everything’s fine between them. Gianpiero is simply not afraid to speak his mind.
“The dynamic between the two is so intense that in between you have to ask yourself who is supposed to be the driver and who is supposed to be the engineer here.
“I think the work between a driver and his race engineer is quite fundamental to success. The engineer has to be able to implement what the driver needs. I recognise as strong a bond there as there used to be between Sebastian Vettel and Guillaume Rocquelin [Rocky].”
Over the past few months, Lambiase and Verstappen have engaged in some intense discussions. One notable incident occurred when the Italian queried Verstappen about disregarding team instructions to allow Sergio Perez to pass during the Sao Paulo race at the close of the previous season.
Lambiase’s pointed inquiry indicates the high stakes involved in racing and the pressures that can lead to friction between teammates.
Verstappen’s known for expressing frustration over the team radio. At the 2022 Singapore GP, a fuel error caused him to qualify 8th, resulting in a fiery outburst: “What the f**k is this about?” This competitiveness has contributed to his success.
Verstappen holds Lambiase in high esteem, and it’s evident that the two share a strong bond. Following his championship victory in 2021, Verstappen made a bold claim, stating that he would retire from racing if Lambiase were to leave.
This statement underscores the crucial role that Lambiase has played in Verstappen’s success and highlights the deep level of trust and respect between the two.
“’I have said to him I only work with him. As soon as he stops, I stop too. Of course, we can be pretty strict with each other sometimes, but I want that too,” said Max Verstappen in an interview with Ziggo Sport.
“He has to tell me when I’m being a jerk and I have to tell him. I always told him that. He can tell me that on the radio as well, but it’s been going really well lately. The last few years I tried to be the engineer and he tried to be the driver.”