Former Formula One team principal Eddie Jordan has accused Max Verstappen of making up a driveshaft issue during qualifying in Saudi Arabia in order to save face.
Verstappen started the race 15th on the grid due to his driveshaft failure, but was able to climb back up to second place during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
However, he was unable to catch his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, who had taken pole position in Verstappen’s absence during qualifying.
Jordan believes that Verstappen was told by Red Bull that he could not pass Perez, and that he used the driveshaft issue as an excuse for his failure to do so.
“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,” Jordan said.
According to Jordan, Verstappen’s radio message about a vibration in his car was merely a ploy to give himself an excuse for not being able to catch Perez.
“Max, in my opinion, found a decent excuse, which was the driveshaft,” Jordan said.
“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*******.”
Jordan, who owned his own team in the past, said that if he were in Red Bull team boss Christian Horner’s position, he would have given the same instructions to Verstappen.
“You don’t have to be Einstein to work it out,” Jordan said.
“This was a situation where Max managed the position to hold his face while still taking second place.”
Verstappen’s teammate Perez was reportedly unhappy with Verstappen for taking the bonus point for the fastest lap on the final lap of the race, but was able to keep Verstappen at bay in the final laps.
Verstappen’s Red Bull team has been the class of the field this season, with Verstappen and Perez winning both races between them.