Max Verstappen’s Race Engineer Gianpiero Lambiase Regrets Going Viral For “Evil Smile”. bb

Max Verstappen's Race Engineer Gianpiero Lambiase Regrets Going Viral For "Evil Smile"

IMAGO / Motorsport Images

Day 1 of the 2024 pre-season testing in Bahrain saw Max Verstappen at his dominant best. The Dutchman was in full control of the lap timings, securing the fastest laps in both the morning, and the afternoon session. When Verstappen bested Lando Norris’ time by a whopping 0.822 seconds, cameras switched to Gianpiero Lambiase, who smiled ‘devilishly’ after seeing the times.

The clip soon went viral, with fans claiming something much more daunting than the RB19 was coming soon. In a video uploaded on X, Verstappen spoke about the viral moment. He detailed Lambiase’s reaction after revealing he, too, sent the viral clip to his race engineer.

“Yeah, I  sent that footage to him. He had to laugh. He doesn’t like to be on camera, so he was a bit like, ‘Ugh! I shouldn’t have done that!’”

Many regarded that smile as ominous. For a brief moment, fans had the feeling that maybe, just maybe, McLaren found something over the winter break that could help Norris topple Verstappen. That belief was very short-lived.

Given that pre-season testing is no true measure of a team’s race pace, fans are thinking about what Lambiase’s reaction could mean. While not running on race-spec, Verstappen was able to zoom past Lando Norris’ time with ease in Bahrain earlier this week. Eventually, he held the fastest lap of the day, which was over 1 second faster than second-placed Norris.

Positivity in Red Bull camp despite Max Verstappen’s absence

Having spent the entirety of day 1 out on the track, Max Verstappen gave way for Sergio Perez on Day 2. With Perez at the helm, Red Bull picked up right where they left off. Lambiase assessed the team’s performances and concluded it was another good day of testing for them. A red flag owing to a loose drain cover led to Red Bull changing its approach for the day.


However, it did not affect their findings, as they were able to accumulate mileage at a good rate. The result was positive for the car’s reliability and systems sign-off. Lambiase also revealed Perez evolved the car’s setup to his liking after taking Verstappen’s day 1 setup as his baseline. Concluding his statement, the British engineer claimed his team had a lot to analyze overnight before stepping into an “important final day of testing.”

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