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The Dynamic Relationship Between Verstappen and Lambiase
Max Verstappen, alongside his race engineer Gianpiero ‘GP' Lambiase, as captured in a photograph by XPB Images.

Lambiase: The Voice Behind Verstappen’s Success

26/01/2024

Gianpero Lambiase, Max Verstappen‘s race engineer, is a key figure in F1’s world. Known for his straightforward style, he plays a crucial role in managing Verstappen’s dynamic approach to racing.

Lambiase has become, if not a face, at least a familiar voice to F1 fans. Max Verstappen’s race engineer quickly earned a reputation for his often blunt, even forceful exchanges with his racing driver.

Max Verstappen himself admitted: “our conversations can get heated.”

Christian Horner, the Milton Keynes boss, found a metaphor to describe this relationship: “Like an old married couple.” With as much trust as frankness.

“A successful marriage comes down to the ability to be open with each other,” Lambiase confided to the New York Times about his relationship with Max Verstappen, using the marital analogy.

But at Red Bull, it’s often Max Verstappen who gets heated, and Lambiase who has to remain calm: isn’t that somewhat unfair?

“You have to understand that, yes, we are all under pressure, but the environment he’s in, and the pressure he faces, are very different.”

“Moreover, I tell myself that I am a 43-year-old man and he is still, in a way, a 26-year-old boy. I have to take some of his reactions into account.”

“It’s intrinsic to my personality and character… I don’t tend to get very emotional.”

“In difficult times, we learn and can rationalize rather than sinking into a hole and getting stressed or tense. I like to think that I operate on a relatively stable wavelength. And I must remain professional at all times.”

Christian Horner had said it after Belgium: no other engineer but Lambiase could handle Max Verstappen and his temperament.

Yet the engineer himself isn’t so convinced, showing some humility…

“I’m sure there are other race engineers who could work with Max as successfully as I have.”

“Ultimately, it’s just about understanding the driver’s needs, connecting with him on an emotional level, and being able to understand and adapt to the different personalities you work with.”

“It’s the same whether it’s a driver or any other office employee.”

Verstappen’s Rise: From Raw to Refined

Since Barcelona 2016 and Max Verstappen’s entry into Daniil Kvyat’s cockpit, Lambiase has been working with the now triple world champion. And the Dutchman didn’t waste a single moment getting down to work.

“The only thing I had heard was that he had a bit of a reputation as an upcoming superstar.”

“When I first met him, I remember he came to the factory to spend three days on the simulator.”

“It was a pretty intense race program, and he was right on point, on everything, for his first time in the car.”

“So, from my point of view, it was a bit intimidating.”

“For him, it was just a matter of ‘Who is this guy? Another engineer I have to work with.’ But we got along well.”

Over the years, Lambiase has witnessed Max Verstappen’s transformation: gaining more maturity, both in and out of the car.

“There’s no doubt that he’s matured as both a driver and a person.”

“As a driver, he was incredibly raw, a rough diamond, if you will, when he arrived.”

“He has really evolved into a refined driver in all aspects, whether it’s pace, race control, or tire management.”

Verstappen: Beyond the ‘Tire Whisperer

“There were several other drivers in the paddock who were called ‘the tire whisperer,’ but now it’s him. In his stints, he extends tire life, manages degradation, and it’s really impressive to see how he has progressed.”

And in terms of personality? Can Lambiase tell us who the real Max Verstappen is?

“He’s quite a closed book.”

“He’s not the type to open up immediately to everyone. He has a quite closed circle around him, but once you’re in that circle, he’s a great guy.”

“We can now talk about anything, anyone, at any time, openly, and the trust and honesty we have in our relationship are fundamental to this success.”

In these circumstances, is Lambiase ready to work with Max Verstappen until the end of 2028, when the Dutchman’s contract ends?

“It will continue as long as the team wants me to work with Max, and as long as Max wants me to work with him.”

Lambiase Verstappen Engineer Dynamics. The Dynamic Relationship Between Verstappen and Lambiase. Lambiase Verstappen Engineer Dynamics. The Dynamic Relationship Between Verstappen and Lambiase

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