Max Verstappen breaks silence on clashing with his race engineer

Max Verstappen and Gianpiero Lambiase have worked together since the Dutchman joined Red Bull in 2016.

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen has insisted that having heated conversations with race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase is simply “how we operate”, following a series of radio messages at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Verstappen recovered from sixth on the grid to win the Belgian GP with ease, marking his eighth consecutive win and 10th overall for 2023.

The Dutchman was unstoppable, although he was asked to use his “head a bit more” during the race.

Verstappen closed in on the race lead on Lap 17, with Sergio Perez having been ahead of him.

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The 25-year-old’s pace was much better than Perez’s, something which helped Verstappen breeze past.

Prior to overtaking Checo, Lambiase instructed Verstappen to “use your head please”, only for Verstappen to ask, “are we both doing it or what”, with the Dutchman wanting to know if Perez was receiving the same orders.

“You just follow my instruction,” insisted Lambiase.

Verstappen quickly built a sizeable gap over Perez once he made the move, to the extent where he won the race by 22 seconds.

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He was in complete control; however, Lambiase still informed him to slow his pace and look after his tyres.

Verstappen comically set the fastest lap at the time a lap later, to which he joked that he could help Red Bull with a “little bit of pit stop training”.

“This tyre had reasonable deg in the first stint. I’d ask you to use your head a bit more,” said Lambiase.

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

“No, not this time,” replied Lambiase.

Verstappen was asked about his conversations with Lambiase, to which he insisted that heated exchanges was simply “how we operate”.

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“That’s how we operate,” he told Sky Sports F1.

“I mean, I think we know each other very well, from all the years we have been working together already.

“The car has been performing really well. Of course, they want to keep it under control but I’m the one in the car feeling how the tyres are behaving.”