Verstappen says he “disagrees a lot” with engineer Lambiase as they get the best out of each other

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During the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona almost three weeks ago, there was once again some interesting conversations between Max Verstappen and Gianpiero Lambiase during the closing stages of the race.

Initially the highly regarded race engineer informed the Dutchman of three strikes on track limits. One more would have led to a penalty. Nonetheless, the two-time World Champion would then ask Lambiase about the fastest lap — and he achieved it a lap later despite the pleas of his engineer to bring it home without trying to get it.

Lambiase then got back on the radio to say “okay, now can you bring it home within the white lines? Thank you.”

Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool

It was a topic that came up at a media session in Canada. Verstappen’s initial response to a question about listening to him was: “I did, I kept it between the lines”.

The 25-year-old went on to explain that they had a laugh about it following the race as Verstappen ultimately collected the maximum of 26 points.

“We laughed about it after the race. It’s good he warns me to make sure that we are winning the race, that’s the most important. We have that kind of relationship and it’s fine.

“Yes, luckily it did [work out]. But after the race you see each other and you’re just laughing about the whole thing.”

Verstappen admits that they quite often have disagreements over things but added that they bring the best out of each other by doing so.

“Oh yes [we disagree], a lot. But that’s also part of the kind of marriage we’re in. I think it’s good because he always tries to get the best out of me and I try to get the best out of him.

“And at the end of the day you make a lot of calls together. Of course also with more people involved.

“At the end of the day when it goes to the set-up of the car, it’s between us. And you have to trust each other. Sometimes you might disagree but that’s important sometimes.”

The biggest flashpoint between the pair happened at Suzuka back in 2018 says Verstappen. The 41-time Grand Prix winner said post-FP2 that his car felt like a rallycross one.

He didn’t hide his feelings on the radio during the session either. Lambiase was not happy with how he expressed himself that day.

“A few years ago in Japan I think it was on a Friday, I think I said on the radio it was driving like a rally car and he didn’t appreciate the way I was talking to him.

“We had a bit of a chat on Friday night, then I think we had a very good Saturday after that so that helps.”

In response when asked if that’s the secret to a good marriage: “Yes, don’t leave it hanging around too long!” Verstappen quipped.