Max Verstappen repeatedly defied engineer Gianpiero Lambiase’s instructions before Sergio Perez showdown talks

Red Bull requested Max Verstappen to reduce his speed on a number of occasions during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, but the Dutchman continued to ignore this advice for the entirety of the race.

Reigning champion Verstappen started the race P15 amidst a driveshaft failure during qualifying and while Red Bull is undoubtedly the fastest car on the grid, there were some concerns over reliability.

Jos Verstappen did not congratulate Sergio Perez. Credit:
Jos Verstappen did not congratulate Sergio Perez. Credit:

In fact, driveshaft issues and vibrations were reportedly felt by Max throughout the race, but the 25-year-old continued to push his car and eventually got a bonus point after registering the fastest lap.

This came right after he crossed the chequered flag and it gave Perez no way of claiming it.

Verstappen was hell bent on achieving the bonus point for fastest lap in the race as it sees him enter the Australian Grand Prix at the top of the drivers’ standings.

A radio transcript has been retrieved from the last 15 laps of the race which details Max’s conversation with his engineer Gianpiero Lambiase.

On Lap 36, Max asked his engineer to check if the car had a problem, after noticing something suspicious with the driveshaft.

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. Credit:
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. Credit:

Red Bull had reverted to an old gearbox for Verstappen’s challenger on the morning of the race after the issue during qualifying.

Meanwhile, Perez was also suffering a problem in his car and contacted his engineer Hugh Bird for advice.

Keeping in mind the tricky position it found itself in, Red Bull was keen to ensure that reliability would not end either of the drivers’ race.

They therefore set about with issuing Max and Sergio advice to target 1:33.0 starting from Lap 39.

This was over half a second slower than Max’s last lap as the two-time world champion was looking to close the gap on his teammate at the top.

However, Lambiase kept issuing the instruction of maintaining a 1:33.0 speed to Max between Lap 39 and 43, but got no response.

Instead, Max continued to push his car and set times almost a second closer than the prescribed limit.

While Perez earned the plaudits for his maiden GP win of the season, he was also involved with Max in an altercation in the cooldown room following the race.

Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen. Credit:
Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen. Credit:

Once Verstappen realised that hunting down Perez was not possible anymore, he dropped his pace starting from Lap 46, saying that he was “calling it a day“.

However, moments after this, he asked his engineer about the fastest lap time and as things panned out, he managed to get the extra point right at the end.

Read more: Sergio Perez in post-race altercation with Max Verstappen after team engineers conspire to aid Dutchman in fastest lap hunt

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