Max Verstappen jokingly doubles down on GP Lambiase quit claim

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen and his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase

Max Verstappen has had the voice of Gianpiero Lambiase in his ears pretty much since he started in F1.

Max Verstappen has repeated his humorous claim that he could walk away when his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase decides to call it quits.

Gianpiero Lambiase, or GP as he is more commonly known, is 17 years older than Verstappen but the career of a race engineer is far longer than that of a driver, suggesting he will be in the paddock for some time yet.

But should the British-Italian one day decide to hang up his headphones, Verstappen has joked he will follow him out of the door.

Max Verstappen happy to walk out with Gianpiero Lambiase

Verstappen threatening an early exit from Formula 1 is nothing new with the Dutchman keen to try his hand at other racing series as well as enjoy life away from F1, but that does not stop people asking him just how long the current dominant champion will go on for.

One man who has been alongside him for pretty much his whole F1 career is GP and Verstappen described the relationship between the two of them as “incredibly important.”

“When I started with the team I was 18. Now I’m 26,” he told Motorsport Magazin. “You grow a lot as a person. But the relationship with each other also grows.

“You spend a lot of time together, you experience a lot. There’s a lot more to it than that. The relationship between engineer and driver is incredibly important.”

As for whether he will walk away when GP does, Verstappen said he will “see how it goes.” recommends

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“Yes, because it’s difficult to work with someone else when you’ve spent so many years together,” he said of his dynamic with his race engineer.

“GP has to do a few more years, then he can do something else. But you never know what people want to do with their life. Maybe in a moment he says: That’s it, I don’t want to be a racing engineer anymore or whatever. We’ll just see how it goes.”

Another example of how important a race engineer is to a driver is Lewis Hamilton and Peter ‘Bono’ Bonnington. With Hamilton set for a Ferrari move, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff suggested he would sit down with Bono to see if he was heading in the same direction.

“I think this is a discussion that everyone will have to have in the coming months,” he said.

“I’ve already spoken to Bono. When I told him about [the news], he asked me: ‘Is it April 1st?’.

“This is something we will discuss in the future.”

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