Max Verstappen and Gianpiero Lambiase tiff dismissed as ‘old married couple’ argument

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen and his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase. Austria July 2023

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen and his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase. Austria July 2023

Engaging in a spat with Gianpiero Lambiase during Q2 for the Belgian Grand Prix, Helmut Marko brushed it off as Max Verstappen and his race engineer arguing like an “old married couple”.

Already facing a five-place grid penalty for having exceeded his gearbox allocation for the season, Verstappen wasn’t happy with GP’s run plan for him in qualifying.

Telling GP he should’ve “just ****ing pushed two laps in a row” and that he doesn’t give a “****” that he had nonetheless made it through into Q3, GP responded: “OK, and then when the track was two seconds quicker for your final lap and you didn’t have any energy left, how would that have gone down?”

Max Verstappen and GP have both ‘calmed down’

Going on to set the fastest time in Q3, Verstappen up by eight-tenths over Charles Leclerc, the Dutchman apologised, saying: “Sorry to GP for being so on the rant.”

Marko put it down to nothing more than an “old married couple” argument.

“In Q2 there was a thing between Max and his race engineer, there were different opinions as to when, who, where, and how should drive out,” he told Sky Deutschland.

“The two are like an old married couple, there’s an argument sometimes. But both have calmed down again, all is well.”

He added: “That’s Max when he’s under pressure or when he doesn’t perform as he could because he always wants the maximum. That’s one of the traits that makes him so incredibly competitive.

“I think he was the best in all three sectors. He had one mistake in Turn Nine and his first corner was not optimal once as well. recommends

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“But he registers that and Max only makes those mistakes once. When the pressure is on, he delivers.”

And deliver he did in Q3 with the championship leader 0.820s faster than the Ferrari of Leclerc. He will, however, line up P6 due to his penalty.

“We didn’t quite have a smooth Q2, it was very close. And then Verstappen came in Q3. He made a few mistakes in the first run, then he exploded in the second run. Eight-tenths ahead is another demonstration that’s incredible,” he said.

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