F1 ‘revelation’ emerges as new prospect for Sergio Perez’s Red Bull seat

Thomas Maher
Eddie Jordan, pictured at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Eddie Jordan, pictured at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Eddie Jordan suspects a former Red Bull driver will be doing his best to help an F1 ‘revelation’ become Max Verstappen’s teammate.

Former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan has singled out McLaren’s Oscar Piastri for high praise, and believes the Australian could be a target for Red Bull as a teammate for Max Verstappen.

Sergio Perez’s contract with Red Bull comes to an end at the conclusion of 2024, and there are not yet any obvious candidates for an internal promotion from AlphaTauri if Red Bull opt against continuing with Perez.

Eddie Jordan: Oscar Piastri has got big star quality

With McLaren having taken a significant step forward in recent races after introducing upgrades to their MCL60, Piastri has clung on to the coattails of the far more experienced Lando Norris – a previous target for Red Bull.

In Hungary, Piastri had a great start to climb to second in the first stint, but fell behind Norris as a result of the powerful undercut effect as Norris pitted a lap earlier to respond to the threat of the chasing Lewis Hamilton.

Damage to Piastri’s car meant he fell away in the closing stages of the Hungarian GP, coming home in fifth place after being overtaken by Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton.

But his strong drives in Hungary and Silverstone have earned him the praise of Eddie Jordan, the former team boss turned pundit.

“The thing that caught my interest yesterday was this guy Piastri,” he told talkSPORT.

“He’d never been to this track before, maybe once in the junior formulas, and for him to come out and qualify on the second row and race like he did, and race against Max…

“Be careful where he’s going to go because I think there is big star quality in there, I’m actually blown away with this young kid, so he’d be one of the drivers I’d be looking at to challenge Max in the future.”

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Could Mark Webber help Oscar Piastri move to Red Bull?

Piastri is managed by fellow Australian Mark Webber, who raced with Red Bull between 2007 and ’13 – ending his F1 career with the Milton Keynes-based team.

Webber has maintained his relationship with Red Bull’s management Christian Horner and Helmut Marko and, with Webber going out to bat for what’s best for Piastri – as evidenced by being willing to walk away from Alpine to join McLaren last year – Jordan reckons Webber may be able to pull some strings.

“[Oscar]’s managed by my old partner Mark Webber and we saw how he got him into McLaren,” he said.

“Do not be surprised if there’s a seat available at Red Bull, of course where Mark used to be, don’t be surprised if he [Piastri] is named in front of the public eye in the future.”

Jordan doubts that Daniel Ricciardo’s return to AlphaTauri will tempt Red Bull to promote him back alongside Verstappen, due to their forward-thinking nature.

“I don’t see it [Ricciardo], they had that chance before and Red Bull don’t usually go back in time, they have a very forward vision,” he said.

“If there’s a change at Red Bull, Mark Webber has brought this kid [Piastri] on, brought him over from Australia, and what a revelation he’s turned out to be.”

Andrea Stella explains Oscar Piastri’s Hungary drop-off

With Piastri dropping away from a podium challenge as the race in Hungary wore on, it was confirmed afterward that there was damage to his MCL60.

But Piastri failed to mention it as he spoke to the media afterward, instead just admitting to lacking pace.

But McLaren team boss Andrea Stella confirmed that Piastri’s race had been ruined by the damage, but wasn’t certain whether they’d actually told him or not – leading to Piastri’s confusion.

“Pretty much think that yes, we did inform him,” he said.

“It was a busy day on the pitwall, so I may be confusing what we thought we should say with what we said. I’m pretty sure that we informed him. In fairness, Oscar is a guy that doesn’t look for excuses. So I’m not surprised that he might not even have mentioned it. But it’s there.

“We think the damage happened running wide on a kerb, not necessarily and only when he went off track while fighting with Perez.

“We also need to look at how the tyres were used, like how much of a price did we pay by pushing at the start to the stint, in terms of overall degradation throughout the stint.”

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