Christian Horner responds to ‘irritation’ claim with Verstappen/GP radio revealed

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen celebrates with Red Bull

Max Verstappen celebrates with Red Bull

Christian Horner has refuted suggestions Max Verstappen was irritated with Gianpiero Lambiase and his need for him to repeat instructions during the Spanish GP.

Starting Sunday’s race second on the grid, Verstappen was made to work hard for his seventh win of this season as he was challenged by George Russell and then Lando Norris.

Max Verstappen and the ‘strat 10’ confusion

Additional reporting by Sam Cooper

The McLaren driver posed a proper threat as, pitting three laps after Verstappen for his second stop of the day, he was back out on fresher tyres and the hunt began.

Verstappen was told by Lambiase to “push to the end now” as Norris was “not tyre saving”, before later being issued with added instructions.

GP: And strat 10 when you can, strat 10.
Max: Strat what?
GP: 10.
Max: 10 or 2? I don’t understand.
GP: One zero. One zero.

But while Verstappen came across in the exchange as being irritated, Horner was quick to quash any suggestions that it was aimed at ‘GP’.

“I think the radio hasn’t been great this weekend, we had some issues,” he told the media including

“You could hear in his voice he was pushing, he was driving flat-out.

“The guys were going flat-out and because we get the GPS data, as all the teams do of the other cars, we could see Lando wasn’t saving anything in Turn Three and Nine and the last two turns.

“So then the information is given to Max to say ‘you can start pushing’.

“And he’s got such capacity in his driving, he knows the stint length and he knows what he needs to take out of the tyres, and that’s where he really is a masterclass.”

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What Max Verstappen previously said about his ‘fiery’ relationship with GP

Verstappen and his race engineer Lambiase have forged a formidable partnership during their time together at Red Bull, winning 61 Grands Prix and three World titles.

Like any relationship it has had its up and downs with Horner referring to the two of them as an “old married couple”.

“It’s how the relationship works,” Verstappen said last year of their at times testy conversations. “I would be very, not upset, but I wouldn’t want to have an engineer who is very monotone or just says ‘copy… check that’.

“You just need a bit of fire. That’s how I like to operate.

“But that’s our relationship, we are very straightforward and if we don’t like something we of course communicate.

“It’s also a bit F1’s fault because they broadcast everything just to throw it out there.

“They don’t need to broadcast it – if you know what I mean. So, I guess they also like the excitement coming out.

“But, our relationship has never really changed in that manner. And also after the race we are absolutely fine because, of course, we are there to win the race.”

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