Sergio Perez said it had been his worst weekend of the season so far up until he took a surprise pole in Miami.
The final qualifying session at the Miami International Autodrome ended in dramatic and unexpected fashion as Charles Leclerc’s spin in the wall prevented much of the field from setting a final flying lap.
It certainly worked in the favour of Perez though whose time set at the very beginning of Q3 would ultimately prove to be the quickest as his team-mate Max Verstappen will be forced to start from P9 following a problem in his first flying lap.
The Mexican will be joined on the front by Fernando Alonso and shortly followed by the P3 of Carlos Sainz as well as a surprise name of Kevin Magnussen to lock out the second row.
Speaking moments after hoping out of his RB19, Perez seemed as surprised as anyone with the final result, admitting it had been his worst weekend of the season until qualifying.
“I think it’s been my worst weekend up until qualifying really,” the Red Bull man said. “I just couldn’t figure out how to put [in] those tenths that I was missing all the time to Max and to the Ferraris.
“I was just resetting everything. We made a small change going into qualifying and really everything became more alive.”
The pole position puts Perez in good stead to regain the championship lead considering Verstappen’s P9 and the difficultly of overtaking in Miami.
For Perez though, he remains focused on the team even if 2023 is developing into the strongest start to a season of his career.
“I’m enjoying [it]. I’m just thinking race by race. I will go out and cheer for my team because they’ve done a tremendous job and we will see what happens tomorrow.
“Tomorrow, it’s a new opportunity. Starting from pole, we are the ones that have something to lose but we will just go out there and try to enjoy this amazing crowd.”