“You don’t have to be Einstein to work it out” – Former F1 boss calls out Max Verstappen for using driveshaft ‘excuse’ against Sergio Perez to save face

Former F1 team principal Eddie Jordan reckons Max Verstappen lied about having driveshaft issues during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to save face while trailing teammate Sergio Perez.

A driveshaft issue meant Verstappen failed to progress beyond Q2 during qualifying and had to start the race 15th on the grid. While he made his way up the grid with ease, he was unable to catch Perez in the closing stages as he finished in second place.

During the race, the two-time world champion reported vibrations in his RB19 similar to the one he experienced during qualifying, indicating that he was having issues that were hampering his pursuit of Perez.

Irish businessman and television personality Jordan, though, believes that Verstappen was told that he would not be allowed to close down his teammate. He said (via Formula For Success podcast):

“I think that Max concocted something about a driveshaft so as to make himself look good, because I’m absolutely convinced he was told before he went out, if Checo was leading the race, and he’s been on pole position, you have not (got) ability and you have not got permission to pass him.”

He added:

“That’s just my view. Because if I was running a team, that is exactly what I would have said before they went out. You don’t have to be Einstein to work it out. Max, in my opinion, found a decent excuse, which was the driveshaft.”

The 74-year-old called the entire scenario ‘bull*******’, saying:

“Christian Horner comes out and tells us: ‘No matter what we did, we went back to the base; we went and looked at all of the data, and we looked at everything, we couldn’t find anything.’

He added:

“Guys, come on. There’s enough in this to realise that we don’t want to be bull*******. This was a situation where Max managed the position to hold his face while still taking second place.”

“He had every chance” – Damon Hill on Max Verstappen’s frustration of not winning in Jeddah

Reflecting on the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, former F1 champion Damon Hill said that Red Bull Racing did not intentionally sabotage Verstappen’s race and simply wanted to bring home maximum points.

Hill said:

“He looked like he was very upset that he had been hard done by for some reason, but frankly, he had every chance to catch up with Checo, and he couldn’t. So, he had to go through the field and everything, but that’s because of the mechanical problem. The team is doing their best, you know, its not like they have deliberately singled him out for anything.”

Verstappen (44) leads the 2023 driver standings, a point ahead of his teammate Perez.

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