As the 2023 Formula 1 season unfolds, the spotlight continues to shine brightly on the undeniable talent and remarkable achievements of Max Verstappen. The Dutch driver’s dominance on the track has left spectators in awe, with a staggering 17 wins in 20 races. However, amidst the celebration of his unassailable success, a unique perspective emerges from none other than Gianpiero Lambiase, the seasoned race engineer who guides Verstappen’s every move.
In a revealing episode of Red Bull’s ‘Talking Bull’ podcast, Lambiase opened up about a curious phenomenon that has occasionally unfolded during this historic season. Despite the champagne showers and podium celebrations, there have been moments when Max Verstappen, the three-time world champion, has found himself in a somewhat unexpected state – boredom.
Yes, you read that right. Boredom, not in the conventional sense, but in the context of a driver who has been so dominant that he occasionally yearns for more competition. Lambiase, with his keen insights into Verstappen’s psyche, has observed that the Dutch sensation has, on occasion, felt disinterested during races. The reason? The substantial gaps he often enjoys over his competitors, leaving him with little to chase after.
This revelation sheds light on the unique challenges that come with being the undisputed king of the racetrack. Verstappen’s unparalleled prowess has led to races that, at times, seem like a mere formality as he leaves his rivals trailing in the dust. The absence of a fierce battle for position can indeed take a toll on a driver’s engagement and focus.
“Sometimes I get the feeling that you are just bored basically.
“I think even if we’re 30 seconds up the road I’ll still be in the zone, as it were, still trying to maximise everything and taking everything seriously.
“Whereas I think at that point [Max] has perhaps lost a bit of interest and is like, ‘Come on GP, just chill out of it.’”
Throughout the season, Formula 1 enthusiasts have been treated to the electrifying exchanges between Verstappen and Lambiase over the team radio. These moments have, on occasion, been punctuated by tension, as witnessed during the Belgian Grand Prix. While these heated conversations might raise eyebrows, Verstappen is quick to clarify that they are not indicative of real conflict. Instead, they are a manifestation of a shared ambition for excellence, a relentless pursuit of perfection that drives both driver and engineer.
In essence, Max Verstappen’s “boredom” during some of his dominant Formula 1 victories serves as a testament to his unparalleled skills and the challenges that come with being at the top of the game. It’s a reminder that even the most extraordinary talents can find solace in the thrill of competition, where the pursuit of victory is a relentless, never-ending journey.
“I mean, of course, respect is very important. But people sometimes they don’t really understand what kind of relationship you have.
“So for example, if we are on the radio and where we sound a bit upset or angry, they think we are in a fight. But that’s not the case.
“It’s just we want the best out there. And then of course, sometimes I raise my voice on the radio because yeah, full of adrenaline while driving. And of course, GP also he wants the best and that’s why sometimes we have quite fiery conversations.
“But for me, that is the way I like to approach our weekend, our racing, because if I would be upset or whatever or not happy with a certain situation, he’s like, ‘copy that or like thank you very much for your message’. I’d be, ‘What is going on?’
“You know, we are both in this together and we want to have the best possible result. But of course, respect is very important.”