Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Miami International Autodrome, 2023

Perez admits he “simply didn’t have the pace” to beat Verstappen

2023 Miami Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez said a lack of pace in the first stint of the Miami Grand Prix cost him his chance to beat Max Verstappen for victory.

The pole-winner kept his lead at the start of the race, but only pulled out a modest gap over Fernando Alonso behind him over the opening laps. By lap 15 Verstappen, who started ninth, had passed Alonso for second place.

Verstappen quickly closed on Perez, who pitted as soon as his team mate threated to get within DRS range. Perez regained the lead when his team mate pitted on lap 46, but within two laps Verstappen was back through into the lead.

The Red Bull drivers used contrasting strategies in Miami. While Perez started on the medium tyre compound and switched to hards, Verstappen did the opposite.

Perez admitted afterwards he failed to make up enough time at the start of the race on the medium tyres. “I tried,” he said. “I gave it all.

“I think the first stint was really poor with the graining that we had on that initial pace. And 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, so a well-deserved win for him.”

He admitted the medium tyre compound didn’t perform as well as they thought it would before the race began.

“I think the medium initially was really poor, more than expected and I think that really compromised our pace,” he said. “And then in all honesty, I think also Max had tremendous pace on the hard tyre and I think I’ve got to analyse what was going on today because we simply didn’t have the pace.”

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2023 Miami Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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5 comments on “Perez admits he “simply didn’t have the pace” to beat Verstappen”

  1. Good on Checo for just giving a straightforward interviews. I’m so tired of the excuses from others, deflecting blame, blaming luck, blaming the team, etc etc.

    1. Well there was some medium tyre didn’t work narrative. But overall it shouldn’t be a surprise here and I wish both himself and the media would cut it out hyping someone that simply is not going to deliver to the same extent and consistency as his team mate.

  2. Perez disappointed with Verstappen: ‘That shows who he really is’

    Spoiler alert: 2023 world champion.

    1. That’s taken way out of context.

  3. This is Hamilton Rosber allover again.

    Perez could win maybe one in 5 years.

    He is good, sometimes faster than Max, but sometimes max just has 2 tenths lap after lap, and then Perez ran out of talent for a brief mistake.

    Just differing driving styles. Unfortunate for Perez, Verstappen has a perticilarly fast driving style.

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