Former team boss hints at Ferrari conspiracy as new F1 star emerges

Michelle Foster
Ferrari's Carlos Sainz and McLaren's Oscar Piastri during a practice session at the Baku circuit. Baku, April 2023.

Ferrari conspiracy, Oscar Piastri's rise?

Questioning what happened to Ferrari’s pace in Qatar and hinting at a Monza conspiracy, Eddie Jordan believes it’s McLaren and Oscar Piastri who’ll be the biggest threat to Max Verstappen next season.

Whether it is wishful thinking or in-depth analysis based on the cost cap penalty and F1’s ATR regulation, many believe next season Red Bull and Verstappen won’t have it all their own way.

This year the Milton Keynes squad has won all but one Grand Prix as they stumbled in Singapore where Ferrari seized the opportunity with Carlos Sainz taking the win ahead of Lando Norris.

Ferrari conspiracy? Oscar Piastri’s rise?

That was one of two podiums for Sainz, who was also P3 at the previous race in Italy where he beat Verstappen to pole position.

But the Scuderia’s surge was short-lived with the team unable to reach the podium in Japan or Qatar, races where McLaren emerged as Verstappen’s nearest challenger.

Lando Norris was runner-up in Japan, his team-mate Piastri third before the rookie went on to finish P2 in Qatar to Norris’ P3.

That weekend the Aussie also grabbed the victory in the Sprint race at the Lusail circuit to mark McLaren’s first P1 since 2021.

Nearing the end of a season in which four teams; Ferrari, McLaren, Aston Martin, and Mercedes, have all had stints as best of the rest out on the track, it had TalkSPORT asking former team owner Jordan who’ll be Verstappen’s nearest challenger next season.

He points to Piastri, hinting there may have been more behind Ferrari’s Monza flourish than meets the eye. Or at least it was like that in his day.

“You’ve got other people who are floundering in my opinion,” he said. “We saw a little spark from Ferrari, we saw them win that race in Singapore, and then we saw a couple of little pole positions.

“But where was it this weekend? Where was it? It’s gone, it vanished into thin air.

“Now I have a little conspiracy theory there that is always favouritism towards Ferrari at certain races, particularly Monza, and that used to happen many years ago but I’m sure it doesn’t happen now so we’ll leave that to one side.

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“So you have to think about McLaren.

“McLaren at the moment and Oscar Piastri is just fabulous and he is the only real one that I can see emerging that could take it to Verstappen in years to come.

“And let’s hope that happens because for a young kid, rookie of the year, to come in and win that Sprint Race on Saturday and finish second on Sunday was simply staggering.

“And I have to say I have the height of respect for this kid and I think he’s got a massive future. Let’s see what happens.”

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