Sergio Perez reveals suspected ‘unexpected’ reason for Miami GP defeat

Thomas Maher
Red Bull driver Sergio Perez during qualifying. Miami May 2023.

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez approaches Turn 11 in Miami. May 2023.

Sergio Perez was left disappointed by his second-place finish in Miami, having been beaten by Max Verstappen on an alternate tyre strategy.

Perez was powerless to fend off Verstappen in the closing stages of the Miami Grand Prix, having led the race from pole position.

While Perez started on the Medium compound Pirellis to stay in step with most of the top 10 starters, Verstappen had opted for the Hard tyre to start off as he lined up in ninth place after his Q3 run was ruined by a red flag on Saturday.

Verstappen was patient through the opening laps, picking his way forward to second place by Lap 14 as Perez found himself being hunted down by his teammate.

Perez pitted to swap to the Hard compound, but Verstappen’s stop to swap away from the Hards didn’t come until Lap 45. With a huge tyre difference for the last 12 laps, Verstappen quickly caught and passed Perez and also claimed the fastest lap point.

Falling to 14 points behind Verstappen in the Drivers’ Championship had Perez grimacing as he spoke to the media after the chequered flag.

“I tried. I gave it all, you know,” he said.

“I think the first stint was really poor with the graining that we had on that on the initial pace.

“That compromised the race quite a lot because we didn’t have too much of a difference on tyres. Max was particularly strong today, so a well-deserved win for him.” recommends

Race: Max Verstappen takes victory in battle of the Red Bulls in Miami GP

F1 2023 race results and standings from the Miami Grand Prix

Perez also highlight the decision that he believed cost him the race, when he found that the Medium tyre proved unexpectedly poor – a critical phase of the race as Verstappen made good progress on the Hards.

“I think the Medium initially was really poor, it was unexpected,” he said.

“I think that really compromised our pace and I think also Max had tremendous pace on the Hard tyre and I think I’m going to analyse what went wrong today because we simply didn’t have the pace.”