‘Rocky’ moving on; Max’s engineer set for promotion

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Guillaume Rocquelin speaking with Franz Tost. Australia April 2022

Guillaume Rocquelin speaking with AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost. Australia April 2022

Guillaume Rocquelin, Sebastian Vettel’s former race engineer, is set to take on a new role at Red Bull’s junior driver program.

Rocquelin, 47, started his career in motorsport in America’s IndyCar series, known as CART back then, before swapping to Formula 1 and joining Red Bull in 2008 where he climbed the ranks.

On Saturday, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner revealed that Rocquelin would be spending his final weekend trackside at the Australian Grand Prix, calling time on his role as Head of Race Engineering.

“The engineering team is continuing to evolve, with efficiencies,” he said via formula1.com.

“Rocky has done a great job last 15 years, engineering Sebastian to titles.”

It was with Roqcuelin, known to many in the team as Rocky, that Sebastian Vettel managed to win his first F1 Drivers’ Championship and he is now taking that experience and will be teaching the next generation of young Red Bull drivers.

“He’s going to take on a new role working with a plethora of young drivers, looking to utilise all his experience to develop Red Bull junior drivers,” Horner added.

Max Verstappen’s race engineer, Gianpiero Lambiase, will be taking on his role as Head of Race Engineering while continuing to lead Verstappen on the race track.

Could this deviation however mean an end to Lambiase’s role as Verstappen’s race director in the long-term?

Lambiase was the voice guiding Verstappen as he raced to the 2021 World title, taking it with a final lap of the season pass on Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi.

Such is the closeness of their relationship, that the Dutchman says if Lambiase were to quit, he would too.

“I have said to him I only work with him. As soon as he stops, I stop too,” the Red Bull driver told Ziggo Sport.

 

“Of course, we can be pretty strict with each other sometimes, but I want that too. He has to tell me when I’m being a jerk and I have to tell him. I always told him that.

“He can tell me that on the radio as well, but it’s been going really well lately. The last few years I tried to be the engineer and he tried to be the driver.”