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F1 race engineers: Who works with each driver and what is their role?

An F1 race engineer plays a pivotal role in a driver’s weekend, and they have some of the most recognisable voices when watching a race. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s race engineer.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, talks to Peter Bonnington, Senior Race Engineer, Mercedes AMG

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Every Formula 1 driver has their own race engineer who plays a key role in ensuring that their driver is aware of the race strategy and any decisions being made by the team. They are pivotal in creating an open line of communication to the driver whilst the car is on the track and relay messages which can help with improving performance or even helping to manage the vehicle. 

Some engineers even become household names, such as Lewis Hamilton’s engineer ‘Bono’ and Max Verstappen’s ‘GP’. Many drivers will form a close relationship with their race engineers and will retain them for multiple seasons as a sign of trust. 

What is an F1 race engineer and what do they do?

The role of an F1 race engineer is to be the key communicator between the team and the driver during the race. They are sat on the pit wall and have to deliver messages from the driver to the engineering team and vice versa.  

An engineer must know their driver extensively in order to translate any feedback about the car back to the rest of the team, who can then make any necessary adjustments. They are also responsible for ensuring that their drivers remain motivated whilst they’re on the track and providing any feedback on how to improve their performance. 

A race engineer also needs to clearly communicate between the team and their driver, as well as understand the engineering of a car to ensure information is correctly communicated. The trust between a driver and their engineer, means that many will stay together for multiple seasons. 

Following any session, the race engineer will look through driver comments alongside relevant data to figure out where they can make improvements for future races. 

Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s race engineer:  

Max Verstappen - Gianpiero Lambiase 

  • Team: Red Bull 
  • Years together: 7 
  • Engineer’s years in F1: 18 
Gianpiero Lambiase, Red Bull Racing engineer

Gianpiero Lambiase, Red Bull Racing engineer

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Gianpiero Lambiase - also known as GP - has been Max Verstappen’s race engineer since the current world champion made his move to Red Bull in 2016. Team principal Christian Horner has likened the pair to an ‘old married couple’ due to the engineer’s straight-talking nature with the Dutchman following his on-track outbursts.  

Verstappen has frequently praised his race engineer's direct nature and honesty, adding: "And he's also a guy who doesn't talk too much. I don't like someone who's talking just to talk, giving me more messages - because for me, that is just not working. And he's exactly the same, so he likes that as well.”

Lambiase started in Formula 1 in 2005 where he spent 10 years with Jordan, who rebranded to Midland, Spyker, and Force India, during his time with the team. He became a performance engineer for Giancarlo Fisichella in 2008, helping the Italian driver to Force India’s first podium at the 2009 Belgium Grand Prix. 

He then worked with Vitantonio Liuzzi, Paul di Resta and Sergio Perez, before moving to Red Bull Racing in 2015. Lambiase became Daniil Kvyat’s race engineer and retained his role when the Russian driver was replaced by Verstappen just five races into the 2016 season. 

Lambiase was promoted to Head of Race Engineering at Red Bull in 2022, replacing Guillaume Rocquelin, but has also continued in his role as race engineer for Verstappen. 

Sergio Perez - Hugh Bird

  • Team: Red Bull 
  • Years together: 3 
  • Engineer’s years in F1: 11 
Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing talks with race engineer Hugh Bird

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing talks with race engineer Hugh Bird

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Hugh Bird has been working with Sergio Perez as his senior race engineer since the 2021 Formula 1 season. The pair have claimed five race wins in three years, as well as finishing second in the 2023 drivers’ world championship.  

Bird started in Formula 1 in 2012 when he joined Red Bull Racing as a simulation and analysis engineer, before moving to be a simulation performance engineer from 2015 to 2017. He was then appointed Max Verstappen’s performance engineer in 2018, where he spent three years helping the driver score his seven race wins and two consecutive third places in the 2019 and 2020 world championships.  

Sergio Perez has spoken highly of his engineer and after a difficult mid-season in 2023, told the Talking Bulls podcast: “We never lose faith in each other, we’re together and we[’re] always looking forward to the next target. I think that's something [that] make[s] us very bulletproof because we've had some tough times in our history of three years but we always somehow managed to get out of it with a lot of success, so I think it's a good dynamic in that regard.” 

Lewis Hamilton - Peter Bonnington 

  • Team: Mercedes  
  • Years together: 11  
  • Engineer’s years in F1: 19 
Peter Bonnington, Senior Race Engineer, Mercedes AMG, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, on the grid

Peter Bonnington, Senior Race Engineer, Mercedes AMG, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, on the grid

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Peter Bonnington - known by many as Bono - is one of the most familiar race engineers on the grid. He joined Jordan Grand Prix in 2004 as a data engineer, working alongside Giorgio Pantano and Timo Glock. 

Bonnington then moved to Honda as an understudy to race engineer Andrew Shovlin, which saw him progress into his role as Jenson Button’s performance engineer. He remained with the team when it transitioned into Brawn GP and worked alongside the British driver as he won his 2009 drivers’ world championship. 

He then became Michael Schumacher’s performance engineer for the 2011 and 2012 season with Mercedes, before the German driver announced he would be retiring. Bonnington moved to the role of senior race engineer for Lewis Hamilton in 2013, where he has remained to this day.  

Bonnington has worked alongside Hamilton to help secure the British driver six out of his seven world championships. He is also known for coining the phrase, “It’s Hammer time”. 

Following the news that Hamilton will move to Ferrari in 2025, it is yet to be announced if Bonnington will move with him.  

George Russell - Marcus Dudley

  • Team: Mercedes  
  • Years together: 1 
  • Engineer’s years in F1: 17 

Marcus Dudley joined George Russell as his senior race engineer at the start of 2023, having previously worked as a performance engineer for Mercedes since 2013. Dudley has spent a decade with the Brackley-based team, stepping in to replace Bonnington at the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix and 2022 Austrian Grand Prix. 

He started his career in F1 as a Mathematical Modeller in 2006 before becoming a GP2 Performance Engineer at Arden International Motorsport. Before joining Mercedes, Dudley spent a season and a half with Marussia F1 Team as a Junior Performance Engineer. 

Charles Leclerc - Xavier Marcos Padros 

  • Team: Ferrari 
  • Years together: 5 
  • Engineer’s years in F1: 13 
Xavier Marcos Padros, Engineer Ferrari

Xavier Marcos Padros, Engineer Ferrari

Photo by: Ferrari

Xavier Marcos Padros joined Ferrari in 2018 as a factory-based race engineer, before moving into a trackside role with Charles Leclerc the following year. He started his career as a race engineer for the BNC Racing Team before moving to the HRT Formula 1 team in 2010.  

When the team was shut down at the end of 2012, after the owners were unable to sell the team, Padros moved to Williams Racing as a performance engineer for Felipe Massa. He then took a brief step away from Formula 1 and spent almost three years as the chief race engineer for NASCAR’s Richard Childress Racing before returning to F1 to join Ferrari. 

Carlos Sainz - Riccardo Adami

  • Team: Ferrari 
  • Years together: 3 
  • Engineer’s years in F1: 21 

Riccardo Adami has been Carlos Sainz’s race engineer since the Spaniard joined Ferrari in 2021. He was previously the race engineer for Sebastian Vettel and moved from Toro Rosso to Ferrari in 2015.  

Adami started his career in 2002 with Minardi, working in several positions before becoming a race engineer. He stayed with the team when it was acquired by Red Bull at the end of 2005 and worked with multiple drivers including Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastien Buemi and Vitantonio Liuzzi. 

This is the last year that Adami will work with Sainz, after it was announced that Hamilton would join Ferrari in 2025. It’s not yet known if Adami will become the British driver’s race engineer when he joins the team. 

Lando Norris - William Joseph

  • Team: McLaren 
  • Years together: 5 
  • Engineer’s years in F1: 13 
Lando Norris, McLaren, on the grid with his race engineer

Lando Norris, McLaren, on the grid with his race engineer

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Will Joseph has been with McLaren since 2010 and has been Lando Norris’ race engineer since his rookie year in 2019. Before moving into the role, Joseph worked as a race team performance engineer alongside Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez, Kevin Magnussen and Fernando Alonso. 

Joseph spent the first year of his motorsport career as a race engineer for Cobra Racing with their GT2 and GT3 cars. 

Oscar Piastri - Tom Stallard

  • Team: McLaren 
  • Years together: 1 
  • Engineer’s years in F1: 15 

Tom Stallard has been with McLaren since 2008 and has been a race engineer for multiple drivers including Jenson Button, Stoffel Vandoorne, Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo. He became the race engineer for Oscar Piastri in 2023, with the Aussie joining Formula 1 for his rookie season.  

Stallard is also a former Olympic medallist, after securing silver at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as part of the Team GB rowing team. 

Fernando Alonso - Chris Cronin

  • Team: Aston Martin 
  • Years together: 1 
  • Engineer’s years in F1: Unknown 

Chris Cronin has worked as the race engineer for former world champion Sebastian Vettel and more recently Fernando Alonso. In 2023, he helped the Spaniard secure eight podiums, the highest results for the driver since 2013.  

Before working with Sebastian Vettel, Cronin worked as the race engineer for Sergio Perez. Cronin has discussed the importance of building up a strong relationship between a race engineer and a driver and how this came quickly with Alonso, who is one of the most experienced drivers on the grid.  

He said: "When Fernando arrived, he immediately said, 'This is the sort of thing that I like and this is what helps me go fast.' Having this kind of direction shortcuts the familiarisation process, whereas with younger drivers it might take a bit more time to find out what they need," 

Lance Stroll - Ben Michell

  • Team: Aston Martin 
  • Years together: 3 
  • Engineer’s years in F1: 10 

Ben Michell has been Lance Stroll’s race engineer since 2021, but has previously also worked as a senior performance engineer with the team.  

He began his career as a race and development engineer for Dunlop in MotoGP before moving into F1. Michell has spent the last decade in Formula 1 after starting at Caterham F1 Team as a trackside tyre engineer, before moving to Toro Rosso where he stood in as Pierre Gasly’s race engineer at the 2017 Malaysian and Japanese grands prix. 

Pierre Gasly John Howard

  • Team: Alpine 
  • Years together: 0
  • Engineer’s years in F1: 13
The Alpine team on the pit wall

The Alpine team on the pit wall

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Pierre Gasly will be paired with John Howard for the 2024 season, after his previous engineer Karl Loos was promoted to deputy of trackside engineering for the team. The pair briefly worked together during the last few races of the 2023 season after Loos was promoted, with Gasly saying he was “very happy” with his new engineer. 

Howard has been with Alpine for the last thirteen years, starting as a mechanical design engineer and working his way up through other roles including an engineering coordinator and senior performance engineer.  

Esteban Ocon - Josh Peckett

  • Team: Alpine 
  • Years together: 4 
  • Engineer’s years in F1: 10 

Josh Peckett and Esteban Ocon were reunited at Alpine in 2021 after previously working together for Ocon’s F1 debut with Manor Racing in 2016. Before joining the Enstone-based team, Peckett spent four seasons with Renault working as both a race and performance engineer.  

He started his Formula 1 career in 2013, where he started as a junior performance engineer for Marussia before moving to Manor Racing as a race engineer in 2015.  

In 2021 Ocon shared that Peckett had played a “massive role” in his performance, adding: “We are making an excellent team altogether, which is motivated, young, and hungry for the same aim as we have, which is performing, extracting, and doing the best we can with what we have in hands.” 

Alex Albon - James Urwin

  • Team: Williams 
  • Years together: 2 
  • Engineer’s years in F1: 9 

James Urwin has been the race engineer for Alex Albon since 2022, but has been with Williams since 2014. He started in Formula 1 as a performance engineer, before moving to become a race engineer for Lance Stroll, then George Russell and now Albon. 

Before his career in F1, Urwin worked as an engineer in GP2 for Super Nova Racing and then Caterham racing, as well as a mechanic for the European Le Mans series and British Touring Cars for Taurus Sports. 

Logan Sargeant - Gaetan Jego

  • Team: Williams 
  • Years together: 1 
  • Engineer’s years in F1: 4 
The Williams team on the pit wall

The Williams team on the pit wall

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Gaetan Jego has worked in Formula 1 for the last four years but has over two decades of experience working in Motorsport, including working for ART Grand Prix as its LMP1 and DTM technical director. He joined Williams in 2019, working as the race engineer for Nicholas Latifi before becoming the senior race engineer for Logan Sargeant for his rookie season. 

Daniel Ricciardo - Pierre Hamelin

  • Team: RB 
  • Years together: 1 
  • Engineer’s years in F1: 13 

Pierre Hamelin will be Daniel Ricciardo’s race engineer for the 2024 season, after working together for the last half of the 2023 season. Ricciardo was brought back to the team after the British Grand Prix, when RB - then AlphaTauri - decided to axe newcomer Nyck de Vries. 

Ricciardo praised his race engineer following the 2023 season, saying: "As much as I believe in myself, I can't underestimate my engineer, Pierre. He worked with three drivers this year and he's trying to set up the car for each driver. 

"What we like, what we don't, it's not easy for him as well. So, I really look forward to a proper off-season and pre-season and I think 2024 is going to be exciting for us." 

Hamelin joined Toro Rosso as a performance engineer and has worked with the team through its last two re-brands. He previously worked as Pierre Gasly, before the French driver moved to Alpine.  

Before moving into motorsport Hamelin worked in aerospace engineering, focusing on aircraft wing de-icing, but then moved to join Lotus in 2009. 

Yuki Tsunoda - Mattia Spini

  • Team: RB 
  • Years together: 3 
  • Engineer’s years in F1: 12 
Team members of the Visa Cash App RB F1 Team on the pit wall

Team members of the Visa Cash App RB F1 Team on the pit wall

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Mattia Spini has been with RB - formerly AlphaTauri - since 2012 and has worked at mentoring the Red Bull junior team’s drivers. He is currently the race engineer for Yuki Tsunoda, but previously also worked with Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat.  

Before taking on the role as a race engineer, Spini worked within the team as a DIL simulation engineer and then a performance engineer for a host of drivers, including Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz. 

Valtteri Bottas - Alex Chan

  • Team: Sauber 
  • Years together: 2 
  • Engineer’s years in F1: 11 

Alex Chan became Valtteri Bottas’ race engineer in 2022 when he joined Sauber - formerly known as Alfa Romeo - from Mercedes. Chan has worked with Sauber since 2014, starting as a vehicle dynamics engineer before moving on to be a performance engineer for Kimi Raikkonen. 

He started his F1 career at Caterham F1 team, where he was a performance analyst.  

Zhou Guanyu - Andrea Benisi

  • Team: Sauber 
  • Years together: 0
  • Engineer’s years in F1: Unknown 

Andrea Benisi will step into the role of Zhou Guanyu’s race engineer for 2024 after being promoted from a performance engineer. Zhou had previously worked with Jorn Becker, who had been with the Chinese driver since his F1 debut in 2022.

Kevin Magnussen - Mark Slade

  • Team: Haas 
  • Years together: 2 
  • Engineer’s years in F1: 30 

Mark Slade made his return to Formula 1 in 2022 to become the race engineer for Kevin Magnussen at Haas, after leaving the sport at the end of 2020. The veteran engineer spent the first 18 years of his career as a race engineer for McLaren, moving to Renault, Lotus and Mercedes before going back to Renault to work alongside Esteban Ocon in 2020. 

He has previously worked with Michael Schumacher, Nico Hulkenberg, Kimi Raikkonen and Mika Hakkinen.  

Nico Hulkenberg - Gary Gannon

  • Team: Haas 
  • Years together: 1 
  • Engineer’s years in F1: 12 

Gary Gannon joined Formula 1 in 2011 as a reliability engineer for the Marussia F1 team before moving to Haas in 2015. He became a race engineer, working previously with Romain Grosjean and Mick Schumacher.  

Gannon previously spent a decade with Honda working with their CART and ALMS teams as an engineer.

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