Christian Horner has promised to sit down with Max Verstappen to discuss the Red Bull star's refusal to tone down his driving after appearing to ignore instructions from his race engineer. The Dutchman breezed to a fifth victory of the season to extend his lead in the Drivers' Championship over his team-mate Sergio Perez, but Horner may have been concerned about another tetchy exchange between Verstappen and his engineer Gianpiero Lambiase during the race.
Verstappen was shown a black and white flag by the race stewards at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after exceeding track limits on three occasions during the race. With one more infraction, the championship leader would have received a five-second time penalty.
Race engineer Lambiase warned Verstappen on two separate occasions not to overdrive the car due to the threat of a penalty, having built a sizeable advantage over Lewis Hamilton in second place. But Verstappen appeared to defy his instructions on several occasions.
First, the 25-year-old asked Lambiase about setting the fastest lap and Lambiase insisted: "We cannot afford any [risks]. Don't worry about it."
Verstappen went on to set the fastest lap on the next lap, which gave him an extra point to go with the 25 he gained for the victory. Lambiase then issued a frosty radio message to the driver, telling Verstappen: "Bring it home within the white lines now, thank you." In reply, the Red Bull driver sarcastically replied: "Yeah, yeah."
Verstappen ended up completing the race without picking up a penalty, but Horner said he would sit down and discuss the issue at hand with his driver after another frosty exchange between the Dutchman and Lambiase.
"Of course we'll talk to him," Horner told Sky Sports F1 when asked about Verstappen's apparent refusal to obey Lambiase. "They're a bit like an old married couple, arguing over who gets the TV remote."
It is certainly not the first time Verstappen and Lambiase have clashed on the radio with different ideas, with the no-nonsense strategist demonstrating a lack of tolerance for Verstappen's antics during the race and Verstappen bought his colleague an ice cream after a recent row.
But the 25-year-old has insisted that their similar character makes their partnership work so well, and admitted he needs Lambiase to remind him when he makes mistakes or goes over the line.
"Like me, Gianpiero is straightforward about what's going on," Verstappen said. "We are fundamentally honest with each other, which is particularly valuable in those moments when things don't go so well on the race track.
"In the process, there can also be situations where one has to be very strict with the other. But that's important. I need someone to point out when I screw up, even on the radio."
He also said on the Talking Bull podcast: "We're so open with each other on the radio that someone might think we're angry with each other. And even I myself think it sounds like that from time to time.
"But we're never angry with each other, we're just looking for ways that we can find more speed."2023-06-04T18:42:32Z dg43tfdfdgfd