Red Bull engineer could quit as Christian Horner’s Max Verstappen ‘intentions’ made known

Max Verstappen’s Red Bull future isn’t set in stone

Red Bull race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase has admitted that he could quit the team if Max Verstappen is replaced by Fernando Alonso. Speculation has been rife over the Dutch driver’s future, with Christian Horner reportedly eyeing up Alonso as a potential replacement.

F1 pundit Ralf Schumacher revealed that Horner has “big intentions” to sign Alonso if Verstappen opts to leave as a result of the controversy surrounding the team principal. “The team is thinking about an alternative, and there are now completely new rumours,” Schumacher said. “Christian Horner has always been a very, very big fan of Fernando Alonso

Alonso is out of contract with Aston Martin at the end of the season and although Verstappen’s deal with Red Bull ends in 2028, he and advisor Helmut Marko reportedly inserted a secret break clause that would allow him to leave the team.

Mercedes has been deemed the most likely option and team principal Toto Wolff has not been afraid to publicly declare his interest in signing Verstappen. However, if the Dutchman were to leave Red Bull, they could be dealt with a second blow as highly-rated Lambiase is seemingly not prepared to work with another driver

“I honestly see Max as a younger brother,” Lambiase told the BBC. “We can talk about anything and anyone at any time. We’re at the point where we just felt completely relaxed and at ease with each other. Maybe I am speaking out of turn, but I don’t think I would have any interest in working with another driver now.

Having had the success that we have enjoyed together with Max, working with one of the greatest talents that the sport has ever seen, I don’t think it would be fair on another driver, from their perspective or mine, to try and replicate what we have achieved with Max.”

Lambiase, 43, moved to Red Bull from Force India in 2015 as Daniil Kvyat’s race engineer. He remained in that role when Verstappen took over in that seat and is responsible for communications to the driver when they are out on track.

Working at Jordan and Force India gave Lambiase the necessary experience to link up with Verstappen early in the Dutchman’s career, as they were able to form a three-time world championship-winning partnership that the Brit does not want to repeat with another driver.

“I had experience working with multiple drivers before Max, and that was one of the biggest helps in terms of hitting the ground running with him,” Lambiase added. “I think if I would have been a newbie to my role – I won’t quite say he would have eaten me alive, but I’m not sure he would have had that respect for a junior engineer.”


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