Perez laments ‘poor’ opening to Miami GP

Sergio Perez lamented a 'poor' stint on the medium tyres in Miami

Sergio Perez lamented a ‘poor’ stint on the medium tyres in Miami

Sergio Perez has described his opening stint in the Miami Grand Prix as “poor” after finishing second to Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen.

Perez started from pole and led through the opening stanza while Verstappen moved his way through the field having started ninth.

The Dutchman had climbed to second by Lap 15 before moving into the race lead as his team-mate pitted on Lap 20.

Tyre strategy was a key difference between the Red Bull pair; Verstappen started on the hard compound rubber and Perez the medium.

According to the pole-sitter, that selection in the opening 20 laps was decisive.

“I tried. I gave it all,” Perez said.

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

“That compromised quite a lot our race because we didn’t have too much of a difference on tyre, and Max was particularly strong today.”

While Perez took to the lane on Lap 20, Verstappen remained on track until Lap 45.

Once he rejoined, the Mexican needed to manage his tyres and was thus unable to drive home the new tyre advantage.

When Verstappen did stop, he emerged not only with a fundamentally faster tyre but a 25-lap advantage in terms of life.

With lighter fuel and a rubbered-in track, his Turn 1 pass at the start of Lap 48 was inevitable.

Therefore, the decision to start on the medium tyre is critical in the Red Bull debrief.

“I think the medium, initially, was really poor, worse than expected,” Perez noted.

“That really compromised our pace.

“Honestly, I think also Max had a tremendous pace on the hard tyre and I’ve got to analyse what went on today because we simply didn’t have the pace.”

Verstappen also claimed the bonus point for fastest lap to hold a 14-point advantage at the top of the drivers’ championship.

Perez remains second on 105 points while Red Bull is light years clear of Aston Martin in the constructors battle – courtesy of four one-two finishes in five races – with 224 points to its name.

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