Since Max Verstappen joined the Red Bull main team in 2016, the Dutchman has worked with Gianpiero Lambiase as an engineer. This regularly results in entertaining on-board radios, as both gentlemen do not make a murder pit out of their hearts. The combination appears to be extremely successful, with sixteen victories in 2023.
Verstappen has started first twice, second twice and third twice in Mexico since 2017, including the restart after the red flag last week. Each of these six starts, the 26-year-old Dutchman emerged from the first corner combination as the leader. The two good starts in the 2023 edition formed the basis for a controlled victory for the three-time world champion.
Yet Verstappen and Lambiase, who was once brought to Red Bull Racing by Sebastian Vettel, were still looking for improvements in lap time during the race. ‘Pay attention to the curbs in Turn 3, Max. This probably doesn’t help you, we waste quite a lot of time there,” Lambiase informed Verstappen, who then indicated that the RB19 did not perform very well in that corner: “I try to go over it correctly, but our car is not much love there!’
Lambiase and Verstappen switch roles
In the press conference after the race, Verstappen was asked about the moment. “I also tried to go over that curb like the others around me did, but I was like a jumping stick there every now and then,” the Limburger laughs. ‘I tried, and I tried different lines.’GP (Gianpiero Lambiase, ed.) is my racing engineer, but at one point he tried to be the driver. We often have that discussion: sometimes I am the engineer and he is the driver. Then we’ll switch roles!’
It is known that bumpy circuits and curbs are not the car’s strong points, but Verstappen can live with that. “I would of course prefer a car that works well almost everywhere and has more difficulty with one aspect than the other way around, as we have had for years,” Verstappen says at Motorsport.com.