Verstappen says it would be “definitely not ideal at all” if he ever lost GP as his race engineer

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Much of the success that Formula 1 drivers have may be attributed to themselves, however, a drivers’ world championship involves a perfect execution of all the races that Formula 1 season contains.

It includes all the people who plan the travel logistics for the entire team, as well as the engineers and mechanics who are in charge of having the car ready and in the best conditions so that the driver can push his car to the limit.

We are currently living within a dominat era by the two-time world champion, Max Verstappen. There have been several eras like this throughout the history of the highest category of motorsport, such as the period between 2014 and 2020 when Mercedes completely dominated the constructors’ championships, while the British driver of the German team, Lewis Hamilton, achieved 6 of his 7 championships in this span of time.

And they have not only existed in this century, since we have to remember the era in which McLaren was the invincible team, with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost as its drivers. To take all these drivers to the top, there is a team that is behind them, each one doing their job to achieve their only goal; to win.

In this article we will talk about Gianpiero Lambiase, who is Max Verstappen’s Chief Race Engineer. Each driver has his own race engineer who is in charge of speaking with the driver and giving him all the necessary information so that he can have a good session. The race engineer must tell him the position of the drivers around him, weather reports, technical and mechanical aspects of his car, feedback on what the driver is doing on the track, among many other things.

However, the driver and the race engineer need to have a good relationship to know how they work with each other. A clear example is precisely Gianpiero Lambiase (better known as GP) with the reigning champion, Max Verstappen.

Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

During the Belgian Grand Prix last week, the Dutchman was not at all happy with the way the team executed Q2 of the qualifying session. Verstappen was almost got knocked out after finishing in P10. The Red Bull driver told GP that he would have liked to do two fast laps in a row, to which his engineer told him that he had gone through to Q3 despite that.

Verstappen was upset because for him, that had been bad execution by the team. GP knows his driver, who answered him cutting but calmly: “And then when the track was 2 seconds quicker for your final lap and you didn’t have any energy left. How would that have gone down? But you tell me what you want to do in Q3 and we’ll do it. Let me know. Sets, fuel, run plan.”

At the end of Q3, the Dutchman took pole position, and after having celebrated, Verstappen apologized to GP for his attitude in Q2: “Sorry to GP for being such a… so on the rant.” GP replied that he was getting used to it little by little.

Once again, a conversation of this type occurred between the Dutchman and his engineer, since the last one asked him to “use his head”. Verstappen wanted to know if the two Red Bulls were going to follow the instructions and not give preference to either. GP replied: “Max, please follow my instruction and trust it. Thank you.” Once again proving how well these two know each other.

If we listen to the team radios between the two, it seems that there is a combination between seriousness and joking, this was what the Dutch driver commented on how much he was joking and how serious he was on these radios during the Belgian Grand Prix.

“Probably 50-50 in the messages. I know the team doesn’t lie to do another stop but I like to mention it so they might get a bit nervous.” Verstappen commented as he suggested to push for a couple of laps and do a little ‘pit stop training’ during the race. “And then I like the response: ‘no no, we’re not doing that today’. It’s fine.”

“We know each other very well and we have a very good relationship.”

As we already discussed, the success of a driver is divided among many other people who are behind them. In this way, Verstappen commented that the work that GP has done throughout all these years that he has been at Red Bull, as well as his relationship with him, has been of great importance to be the driver he is today, that is, a two-time world champion.

He concedes the thought of ever losing him as his race engineer would definitely not be ideal.

“I think it’s very important, the relationship with your race engineer. I find it always a really important part of your performance not only your race engineer but everyone very close around you, performance engineer, these kinds of things,” Verstappen stated. “And of course, over the year, you build up much more of a relationship, you know each other much better.

“So yeah, for sure, if he would be removed or whatever, that’s definitely not ideal at all.”