Horner commends Lambiase of Red Bull F1 for handling “tough customer” Verstappen

Red Bull team manager Christian Horner made light of the fact that Lambiase is the team's Jason Statham.

(Motorsports news) When Verstappen and Lambiase vocally disagreed during Friday qualifying, it raised eyebrows. More heated exchanges occurred in the race after that, especially when Lambiase told his driver to “use your head more” during the final stint after Verstappen wore out his brand-new soft tyres too quickly. Then Verstappen made a joke about continuing and making another pit stop for “pitstop training,” but his engineer promptly shot it down.

In response to a question regarding the episode, Horner lauded Lambiase for having a strong personality to cope with a “demanding customer” in Verstappen, making fun of the square-jawed Hollywood action hero Jason Statham. Max Verstappen is a difficult client, therefore I think you need to have character fortitude to race engineer him, stated Horner. 

“Many race engineers would break under that pressure, but GP has the fortitude to handle it. “GP is our Jason Statham substitute, I suppose—they certainly resemble one another. Lambiase deals with him sternly but fairly, and the two of them have a lot of respect for one another. The only issue is that 200 million individuals are listening in on their talk. But the two have a strong bond and level of trust. There is no need for counseling. 

The quickest lap was the subject of Verstappen’s comments, which he said were partially intended as jokes. He said: “I know the team doesn’t like to do another stop, but I like to mention it so they might get a bit nervous.”  When asked if Verstappen generally takes it easier in the vehicle than people on Red Bull’s pit wall think, Horner responded, “I think there’s sometimes an element of it. Verstappen is cruising to his third straight world championship this season. But we must keep in mind that the engineers and performance engineers are always interacting with the data in front of them. 

“They can see, and they are aware of their driver’s driving habits, what they are removing from the car, and other things. I responded, ‘I know what he’s doing, he’s trying to build up a gap for a pitstop,’ and the GP said, ‘I think he’s taking it very easy, all the metrics are massively under control.’ “Thus, having that trust and bond—which those two guys have is very crucial.

I mean, there are moments when things between them can become a little heated. But it will quickly settle down. A heated argument between Verstappen and Lambiase during Friday qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix last week raised eyebrows.

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