Eddie Jordan alleges Max Verstappen did not have "permission to pass" Sergio Perez in Jeddah
Eddie Jordan feels Max Verstappen did not have permission to pass Sergio Perez in Jeddah and hence concocted something about the driveshaft later in the race. Reliability issues cost Max dearly in the 2023 F1 Saudi Arabian GP as he was forced to sit out of Q2. That helped Sergio Perez secure pole position while Max Verstappen was relegated to a P15 start.
By the time Max Verstappen made his way through the field to P2 during the race, Sergio Perez was already five seconds ahead. As the laps kept decreasing and Verstappen could not close the gap on Perez, there were radios of him complaining about something on the driveshaft, the issue that forced him to sit out in qualifying. Verstappen ended up finishing the race in P2 with Perez winning the contest.
Eddie Jordan, however, feels that there was more to this story and Max Verstappen was told before the race that he cannot overtake Perez on track. Talking about the situation on the Formula for Success podcast, he said:
“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. 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. 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.’ 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.”
Is there tension between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez?
Much has been said about the tensions between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez after the race in Jeddah. The gap between the two drivers at the top of the standings has decreased and if there are any more reliability issues for Verstappen, we could see Perez taking the lead in the championship.
It's hard to believe Eddie Jordan's theory that Verstappen was ordered not to attack Perez. The Dutch driver would not take such an order from Red Bull lying down, much less execute it. There are, however, simmering tensions that could boil over if Perez continues to be a thorn in the side for Max.