Formula 1 is a fickle sport. One second you’re on top and the next you’re being discounted by the same people who once called you “the best driver that has ever been”.
Lewis Hamilton is currently suffering this change in fate and outlook from a former boss who has lost trust in his abilities. Now, the former boss believes the next generation of drivers like Ferrari man Charles Leclerc is worth investing in.
Eddie Jordan made this controversial assessment in a statement to Bild, as quoted by Marca while discussing who will be his go-to driver to challenge Max Verstappen. He argued age is a big factor and based on this, he discounted Hamilton and even Fernando Alonso while putting his money on Leclerc and Lando Norris.
“I simply no longer trust that Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, although they are well-deserved champions, can keep up with Verstappen due to their age,” he said. (Translated via Google)
“I only see one rival for Max and it is Charles Leclerc. If I now had a top team and didn’t get Max, there would only be one pair of drivers capable of facing the fight with Verstappen: Leclerc and, as a teammate, Lando Norris,” concluded Jordan.
Jordan isn’t the only one who would replace Hamilton with Leclerc. Moreover, ahead of the upcoming season, we can understand why he would go for younger drivers as Hamilton and Alonso are 39 and 42 respectively and the two aforementioned drivers are coming to age in F1. However, just a couple of years ago, the opinion was completely different.
Eddie Jordan ranked Lewis Hamilton the best ever a couple of years ago
Two years is a long time to change someone’s mind and as it turns out, Eddie Jordan has changed his. The former boss might not rank Hamilton highly now, especially after the Mercedes downfall. However, this wasn’t his opinion right before the 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi.
Right before Hamilton lost to Verstappen and his eighth championship title, Jordan was full of praise for the Brit, highlighting his incredible performance in the 2021 Brazilian GP.
“I think what Lewis did more than anything by winning [in Saudi Arabia] and the way he won in Brazil has embraced a huge amount of world audience to his stable. And that was the most sensational race people have seen from current – in the modern era anyway – grand prix drivers of what they are able to do with a car and how they do it,” Jordan told BBC.
“So beyond any doubt, I don’t think it’s a test between the (Michael) Schumacher seven titles or Lewis’s… Lewis has already won much more races than Schumacher did, so for me, he is the best driver that has ever been,” he concluded.
From being the best ever to losing all trust in Hamilton, the last two years for the Brit have been telling. Although only he can change this perspective given the right car, so let’s not completely count him out.