Horner Hails Red Bull F1’s ‘Jason Statham’ for Handling Verstappen

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During Friday qualifying, Verstappen and Lambiase caused a stir with a heated dispute over their execution plan.

Tensions rose during the race, especially when Lambiase advised Verstappen to “think more carefully” in the final phase after Verstappen wore out his new soft tyres excessively.

In response, Verstappen humorously suggested he would continue aggressively and make an additional pitstop for “pitstop practice,” a proposition his engineer swiftly dismissed.

In response to the incident, Horner lauded Lambiase for his resilient character in managing a “challenging customer” like Verstappen, humorously comparing Lambiase to the rugged Hollywood action star Jason Statham.

“Race engineering Max Verstappen demands a solid character because he’s one challenging competitor,” Horner stated.

“Many race engineers would buckle under such stress, but GP possesses the grit to handle it.

“GP is our version of Jason Statham, I suppose, they do look quite similar…! He interacts with him in a firm yet equitable manner and there’s significant respect between the two.

“The only issue is that their conversations are overheard by 200 million people. But there’s an exceptional rapport and trust between them. There’s no need for mediation.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Erik Junius

Verstappen acknowledged that his comments about making another pitstop for an aggressive lap were partially intended as a jest, confessing: “I’m aware the team isn’t fond of another stop, but I enjoy raising it, possibly making them a little anxious…”

When questioned whether Verstappen, who is confidently advancing towards a third consecutive world title this season, is often more relaxed within the car than the Red Bull pit crew perceive, Horner commented: “Sometimes, there’s a component of that. But we must acknowledge that the engineers and performance engineers are deeply immersed in the data they have at hand.

“They understand, they know their driver’s racing style, they know what they’re extracting from the car and so on.

“And I was asking GP: ‘I understand what he’s doing, he’s trying to build a gap for a pitstop’ and GP responded: ‘I believe he’s taking it rather lightly, all the metrics are remarkably under control.’

“So, it’s the trust and bond that’s crucial, which is what these two have. It can get a bit fiery between them at times. But the situation normalizes rapidly.”

The vocal disagreement between Verstappen and Lambiase over their race plan during last week’s Belgian Grand Prix Friday qualifying drew attention.

Also, read:
Verstappen intends to establish his own GT3 team from 2025
Verstappen has the privilege to be “impish” due to F1 supremacy, Mercedes concedes
Red Bull gained “additional advantage” with latest F1 upgrade – Wolff

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GearShiftGary August 7, 2023 - 5:52 am

Seriously? Comparing Lambiase to Jason Statham is a bit much, dont ya think. But gotta admit, dealing with Max’s antics is no small feat.

RacingFan93 August 7, 2023 - 8:19 am

So max is stirring the pot again huh? lol Love this guy, always keeping things spicy on and off the track! Go Red Bull!!

TurboTom August 7, 2023 - 10:24 am

versteppen joking about making another pit stop… classic! that’s some psychological game right there.

F1Addict August 7, 2023 - 3:52 pm

Am i the only one who loves these inside stories? Makes the sport so much more interesting. kudos to Lambiase and verstappen… they’re the real mvps.

SpeedsterSteve August 7, 2023 - 6:14 pm

no surprise there… Max is a tough guy to handle, good on GP for dealing with it like a champ. jason statham huh? do they really look alike??

PitLanePete August 7, 2023 - 9:11 pm

what’s this now? A third world title for max on the horizon… can’t wait for the rest of the season. this is exciting stuff.


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