Max Verstappen accused of lying about excuse to avoid Sergio Perez battle

Max Verstappen leads the Drivers' Championship by a point from Sergio Perez after setting the fastest lap in Saudi Arabia.

Former Formula 1 team owner Eddie Jordan believes double World Champion Max Verstappen was not given permission to overtake team-mate Sergio Perez for the lead at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, with the Dutchman having used his driveshaft failure as a “decent excuse”.

Verstappen recovered well from a driveshaft failure in Q2 to claim second in the race, after fighting through the field from P15.

The reigning World Champion was clearly unhappy after the race and even stated his displeasure at finishing second, with Perez having claimed his first win of the season.

Jordan is convinced that Verstappen was ordered to stay behind his team-mate, with the Irishman having revealed that he would’ve instructed the very same if he were in charge.

READ: Exclusive: Williams stress Logan Sargeant isn’t a pay driver

Perez led virtually the entire race, after momentarily losing the lead to Fernando Alonso at the start, only to reclaim first as soon as DRS was activated.

The Mexican went on to control the race very well, before claiming his fifth career win.

Jordan is adamant team orders were at play at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit and that blaming his driveshaft failure for missing out on the win enabled Verstappen to “hold his face”, with the ex-team owner believing “you don’t have to be Einstein to work it out”.

“I think that Max concocted something about a driveshaft so as to make himself look good,” Jordan said on the Formula For Success podcast.

Article continues below

“Because 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.

“That’s just my view. Because if I was running a team, that is exactly what I would have said before they went out.

READ: Lewis Hamilton won’t quit Mercedes despite George Russell threat

“You don’t have to be Einstein to work it out. Max, in my opinion, found a decent excuse, which was the driveshaft.

“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*******. This was a situation where Max managed the position to hold his face while still taking second place.”