Former F1 team owner turned pundit Eddie Jordan has made some wacky and wild predictions over the years – what are his most memorable correct calls?
F1 pundit Eddie Jordan, once upon a time the founder and team boss of his eponymous team, has developed a reputation for having psychic powers when it comes to making predictions about future deals and events in the sport.
Here are some of the wilder calls Eddie Jordan has made over the years – for which he was initially derided – only to be proven right later.
Eddie Jordans predicts Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari return
Halfway through the 2013 season, Jordan made the claim that 2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen was set to leave Lotus and return to Ferrari for 2014 – something that seemed highly unlikely at the time given how, just four years prior, the Scuderia had paid off Raikkonen to vacate his seat for 2010 in favour of Fernando Alonso.
Ferrari initially said the claim was “not true”, but Jordan stuck to his word and predicted the move would be announced around the 2013 Italian Grand Prix weekend.
“Raikkonen had made Red Bull his first priority but, when talks with the world champions broke down, he turned his attention to Ferrari,” Jordan claimed of Raikkonen.
At the same time, Jordan – who was then a BBC pundit – also predicted that Daniel Ricciardo would move up to Red Bull from Toro Rosso to join Sebastian Vettel.
While Jordan’s predictions proved correct, he was off by a few days – Ferrari announced Raikkonen five days after the Italian GP, while Ricciardo was announced at Red Bull at the start of the Italian GP week.
Eddie Jordan predicts McLaren-Mercedes alliance, although a little early…
With McLaren struggling to gel with Honda after the two parties rekindled their nostalgically successful partnership from the 1980s for 2015, Jordan predicted the two sides would split for 2018.
Jordan – now with Channel 4 – made the claim that McLaren would revert back to Mercedes power for 2018.
McLaren’s then-racing director Eric Boullier denied it, saying: “I’m very confident to tell you that Eddie Jordan is wrong.”
Toto Wolff, as head of Mercedes motorsport, also replied directly to Jordan on air, saying: “[McLaren] don’t need our engine.
“They have a Honda relationship that is going through a difficult phase at the moment.
“But McLaren and Honda have the resources – the human resource and financial resource – to drag themselves out of the difficult situation.”
Jordan proved half-right: McLaren did split with Honda, but went with Renault for 2018.
Two years later, they signed back up with Mercedes power – Jordan’s look into the crystal ball having been distorted by his own enthusiasm!
Eddie Jordan predicts Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes move
This is the big one – the moment that made everyone sit up and take notice of Jordan’s claims.
“Hamilton and Mercedes have already agreed personal terms and a deal could be imminent,” Jordan claimed in early September 2012.
Having been embedded in at McLaren ever since arriving in Formula 1 at the start of 2007, the purported move was greeted with shock and dismissed as being the ramblings of a man whose connection to the F1 paddock had dwindled in the years since selling his team.
This wasn’t helped by Hamilton’s management team, XIX Entertainment, dismissing the suggestion as being untrue.
“As mentioned in the past by all parties, we are in advanced discussions with McLaren about a new deal,” said a statement.
The reason it was seen as an outlandish claim was that Hamilton had been brought up through the ranks by McLaren, with the Woking-based team still seen as a sure bet in terms of competitiveness as one of the behemoths of the sport.
In contrast, Mercedes’s competitiveness was questionable in just their third season of returning to the sport, and few could have predicted the dominance they’d enjoy just two years later.
Sky pundit and 1996 F1 World Champion Damon Hill was one of those not to diminish Jordan’s call: “Don’t think this is silly season stuff. Funnier things have happened and there is a high chance this could come to pass.”
Jordan’s prediction turned out to be bang on the money – less than a month later!
He signed a three-year deal with Mercedes, and we all know how it unfolded from there. From that moment on, Jordan was taken a lot more seriously when it came to making predictions…
Eddie Jordan calls Fernando Alonso’s McLaren switch for 2015
Considering the nature of Alonso’s fall-out with McLaren after 2007, a return to the Woking-based team seemed even more far-fetched than Raikkonen’s return to Ferrari.
But Jordan, in September 2013, claimed that Alonso and Ferrari would part ways with Alonso rejoining McLaren for 2015.
After a dire year at the wheel of the F-14T, the most unlikely of reunions came true and the Spaniard headed back to drive for Ron Dennis and McLaren…
Eddie Jordan doesn’t always get his F1 predictions right…
However, while Jordan has had a couple of hits over the years, he’s had some pretty shocking misses as well.
In 2017, Jordan earned the disapproval of Mercedes’ Toto Wolff after the Irishman claimed Mercedes would pull out of F1 at the end of the 2018 season.
“I think [Mercedes] will campaign as a team this year and next year, and then the board of directors in Stuttgart will decide to sell the team and only remain as a Formula 1 engine supplier,” he said.
“I would do the same because Mercedes has won everything, but now it can only get worse for them, so it is better to reduce their costs and concentrate on their old core business in Formula 1, namely to develop and deliver high-tech power units.”
Wolff’s response was not one of amusement.
“I told him I’m ready for any banter,” he said. “But for me, I stop laughing when it’s about making jokes on the back of 1500 employees who care about their future.
“And I said it in an interview with him, that this is a too serious a topic for me. We are not leaving F1, none of our sponsors is leaving F1, we are pretty happy where we are.
“And he should just stop putting these rumours – fake news – out in the world.”
There was also the occasion when Jordan predicted Volkswagen was set to take over the Red Bull team, which he claimed during 2015. Red Bull were actively looking for a new engine supplier, and Jordan claimed VW was about to take over the entire team.
With Jordan’s stock riding high as a canny observer, it appeared credible, but VW opted to cut back their motorsport participation significantly following the emissions scandal the manufacturer found itself in. It led Red Bull boss Christian Horner to joke that Eddie Jordan “sometimes gets it wrong too!”
Red Bull ended up continuing with Renault for another three years before swapping to Honda in 2019.
Another swing-and-a-miss was Jordan scoffing at the idea of Kimi Raikkonen joining Ferrari – this time for the first occasion. Jordan, clearly lacking the sources he would have some seven years later when he correctly predicted Raikkonen’s return, said in late 2005 any chance of Raikkonen joining Ferrari was wide of the mark.
“I don’t know who peddled the rumor about Kimi going to Ferrari, but I don’t believe it for a second,” he said.
“He was made for McLaren and they gave him his best chance. The Kimi-to-Ferrari story is backfiring just like the Valentino Rossi spin. If I was a gambler I’d actually put money on Montoya going to Ferrari, not Raikkonen.”
Within a few months, Montoya had quit McLaren and F1, and Raikkonen joined Ferrari as a replacement for Michael Schumacher…
More recently, Jordan’s most outlandish claim was that, for 2020, Hamilton would join Ferrari while Vettel would move to Mercedes in a direct swap. He also said he believed Max Verstappen would be Vettel’s teammate at Mercedes.
Of course, this group of gasp-worthy claims were all proven very incorrect – although Hamilton did recently move to Ferrari (only four years later there, EJ!).
But, even if he does get things wrong just as much as he gets them right, such willingness to make bold claims (that come from what appears to be a genuine desire to impart paddock knowledge in good faith) should be applauded, not dismissed.
When asked about the situation regarding Mercedes pulling out of F1, which earned him the pushback from Wolff, Jordan outlined why he’s willing to put himself out there – even if it means upsetting some paddock colleagues.
“I can understand why [Wolff’s] angry with that, but that’s not my concern. That’s life,” he said.
“There are too many people too worried about whether they can go into someone’s motorhome or not. I’m in the job of reporting what I know. That’s what I’ll do, and no one is going to shut me up.
“If it’s complete crap and not one cent of it is true, then of course they should say that.”