Eddie Jordan believes there is “no way” Daniel Ricciardo will be able to match the “magic job” Sergio Perez is doing alongside Max Verstappen at Red Bull at the moment.
Perez has won two of the opening five races of the season, with Verstappen winning the other three, and sits only 14 points behind his team-mate at the top of the Drivers’ Championship at this early stage of the year.
Ricciardo was brought back to the Red Bull fold as reserve driver after he saw his McLaren deal ended early, with the Australian on hand at certain races this season to fill in if needed.
This had fuelled speculation surrounding the performances of Perez, who would need to do well to match Verstappen to keep hold of his drive for 2024 – despite the fact he holds a contract for that year – with another multiple race winner back in the ranks who knows the team, but his performances have been more than up to the task so far.
When discussing the drivers who may be able to go toe-to-toe with the reigning World Champion, Coulthard and Jordan agreed it would take a “superhuman” effort to surpass him, especially in equal machinery.
“We have a generation of drivers in their mid-20s that for the next decade are going to be trying to fight it out, and basically any one of those guys who get their hands on a race-winning car have a chance to challenge Max,” Coulthard explained on the Formula For Success podcast.
“Challenging Max in the same team is going to take a superhuman effort, because Max is just a machine, isn’t he?
“He’s been groomed, in the nicest way of that expression, in terms of being on a racetrack from an early age. Both parents have been racers and he’s assertive, strong willed and more than capable.”
And when Coulthard asked if there is anyone who would be able to jump into the sister Red Bull alongside Verstappen and give him a true run for his money, Jordan was quick to dismiss what Ricciardo would bring alongside him at the moment.
“I’ve gone through this on a number of occasions and I actually think, you know, Daniel Ricciardo is there, but there’s no way Daniel is going to do the job that Checo is doing, in my opinion,” Jordan said.
“Having seen what Daniel has done, and as much as we like the guy, he’s just a fabulous person to be around, but Checo is doing a magic job.”