Former Formula One team principal Eddie Jordan has backed Oscar Piastri to join Max Verstappen at Red Bull, after admitting he was ‘blown away’ by the Australian in his rookie season.
Piastri finished fifth at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday, a fortnight after registering a career-best fourth place finish at Silverstone.
The 22-year-old qualified fourth at the Hungaroring and moved up to second behind Verstappen in the opening lap, before being overtaken in the pits by teammate Lando Norris.
Piastri replaced Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren after spending last season as the reserve driver for Alpine and has secured points four times in 11 races.
Aside from retiring in Bahrain in the season opener due to electrical issues, the rookie has shown remarkable consistency so far, finishing all the next ten races.
Oscar Piastri has impressed in his first season in Formula One with McLaren
Piastri finished fifth at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday after finishing fourth at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone two weeks earlier
And Jordan believes the young Australian has already shown he has what it takes to challenge Verstappen in the near future.
‘Be careful where he’s going to go because I think there is big star quality in there,’ he told talkSPORT.
‘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.’
Verstappen’s triumph in Hungary was his seventh consecutive win and strengthened his lead at the top of the drivers’ standings to 110 points over his closest rival, teammate Sergio Perez.
The latter’s future at Red Bull remains uncertain with the Mexican yet to sign an extension beyond 2024, which Jordan suggested could leave the door open for the Aussie.
Piastri’s agent Mark Webber has a strong relationship with Red Bull, winning eight races and finishing on the podium 41 times in 127 starts in seven seasons with the team.
‘He [Piastri] is managed by my old partner Mark Webber and we saw how he got him into McLaren,’ Jordan 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.’
Eddie Jordan believes the young Australian could join Max Verstappen at Red Bull
Verstappen (left) leads the drivers’ standings by 110 points over Sergio Perez
Perez’s future at Red Bull is uncertain as he’s out of contract at the end of next season
Speaking exclusively to Mail Sport last month, Webber hailed Piastri’s ‘extremely positive’ start to his Formula One career.
‘He’s driven fantastically so far this season,’ he said.
‘McLaren have been brilliant with him and the same can be said about Lando Norris.
‘It’s been an extremely positive start, but it’s a tough assignment being up against Lando, who is one of the best drivers in the world.’
Meanwhile, Jordan dismissed Daniel Ricciardo’s chances of returning to Red Bull.
The 34-year-old finished finished 13th at the Hungarian Grand Prix on his return to Formula One on Sunday, in his first start since being axed by McLaren at the end of last season.
With Perez’s future uncertain, Ricciardo admitted he is daring to dream about a return to Red Bull, which he left after five seasons in 2018.
Jordan has dismissed Daniel Ricciardo’s chances of returning to Red Bull
The eight-time Grand Prix winner impressed while testing Red Bull at Silverstone earlier this month and his move to AlphaTauri – Red Bull’s sister team – fuelled speculations he may replace Perez.
But Jordan believes Red Bull will be looking elsewhere.
‘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.’