Christian Horner breaks silence on Max Verstappen tensions

Max Verstappen is in an excellent position to win his third consecutive Formula 1 championship with Red Bull Racing.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has insisted that race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase “can deal” with reigning World Champion Max Verstappen, following a few frosty conversations between the pair at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Lambiase and Verstappen were talking to each other a fair amount during the recent race at Spa-Francorchamps, which the reigning World Champion won from sixth on the grid.

He was given several warnings during the race by Lambiase though, seemingly to Verstappen’s frustration.

“Don’t forget Max, use your head please,” Lambiase told Verstappen, whilst he was catching Sergio Perez for the race lead.

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“Are we both doing it or what?” Verstappen snapped back, after wanting to know if himself and his team-mate were being given the same instructions.

Verstappen was incredibly blunt with Lambiase and spoke back at his race engineer multiple times, something which didn’t get missed.

“What are your thoughts?” Lambiase asked. “Can we get there or should we box this lap to cover Leclerc?”

Verstappen once again snapped back: “Erm, I can’t see the weather radar can I, so I don’t know.”

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Lambiase at times during the race was simply trying to warn the Dutch driver about looking after his tyres, with tyre wear having been high at the Belgian GP.

“You used a lot of the tyre on the out lap Max. Not sure that was very sensible,” said Lambiase, to which he received no response.

 Lambiase later added: “This tyre had reasonable deg in the first stint. I’ll ask you to use your head a bit more.”

Verstappen did reply this time and joked that he could push hard and pit again.

“I could also push on and we do another stop; a little bit of pit stop training,” said Verstappen.

“No. Not this time,” Lambiase concluded.

Following the race, Verstappen’s conversations with Lambiase was one of the main headlines, given how heated they appeared to be.

However, Horner has insisted that the duo have a “lot of respect and trust” for one another, with Lambiase simply being a unique race engineer capable of dealing with Verstappen’s “tough” nature.

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“Gianpiero Lambiase is good at managing Verstappen during a race weekend and qualifying, and there is respect towards each other from both sides,” said Horner, as reported by

“GP has contact with me at the pit wall, but the main communication is with the driver.

“There is a lot of respect and trust between the two. If you want to be Verstappen’s engineer, you have to come from good homes. He is a tough customer. Many engineers would succumb to that pressure, and GP can deal with that. Both in terms of character and respect.”