The Mexican veteran’s form has nosedived dramatically after a strong start to his season lasted only five races. Since his two victories in Jeddah and Baku earlier in the year, Verstappen has gone on to dominate as his teammate was left without an answer.
While Red Bull has a line of potential candidates to partner Max in his driver ‘slaughterhouse’ of sorts – which he has turned the number two RBR seat into – who can either match the Dutch ace or better Checo?
Reports out there suggest that the other McLaren driver Lando Norris is intent on destroying his well-known friendship with Max, as talk of Red Bull’s interest in the Briton bubbles in British media.
Lando joining RBR to partner with Verstappen has all the hallmarks of the toxic Mercedes partnership Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton ‘enjoyed’ in their Best-Buddies-Gone-Wrong chapter as Kings of F1, a sport in which hammering your teammate is the first-order of business for any driver. AKA a Friendship Buster.
Eddie: Piastri is the real deal
But the younger McLaren lad makes sense, former team owner Jordan told TalkSport: “I think Piastri is the real deal. Full marks to McLaren, they’ve signed him ’til ’26 because they needed to because he will be a very sought-after driver. If I was in Red Bull, and I was thinking of replacing Checo, he’d be the one I’d have in my mind.
“The thing that caught my interest [at Suzuka] was this guy Piastri… 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.”
“He’s managed by my old partner Mark Webber and we saw how he got him into McLaren. 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 Piastri is named in front of the public eye in the future,” predicted Jordan.
Eddie: Lawson deserves a chance in Formula 1
As for former Red Buller Daniel Ricciardo supposedly being primed at AlphaTauri (when his hand eventually heals) for a step up to Verstappen’s garage should Perez continue to wallow in bad form, Jordan said: “I don’t see it.
“They had that chance before a Red Bull don’t usually go back in time, they have a very forward vision. 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,” added Jordan.
Of the emergence of Liam Lawson as a candidate, the AlphaTauri four-GP-rookie has seized his unexpected F1 opportunity and added himself to the Red Bull list of drivers for the near future with his eyebrow-raising performances.
Jordan said of the 21-year-old New Zealander: “Lawson deserves a chance in Formula 1, you can only win the championship with one driver. And, in my opinion, if you are going to change Checo Perez, I would change them for somebody absolutely new who has a really bright future.
“I think Lawson because it’s the same kind of feeder team, isn’t it? Where Sebastian Vettel came from and Lawson has that ability. I think he, either next year or the year after, should wind up in Red Bull,” reckoned Jordan.
Big Question: Does Oscar Piastri have the potential to be at Max Verstappen level in F1?