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Damon Hill

Former F1 champion admires Verstappen 'brilliance' over Perez

Max Verstappen won the Miami Grand Prix despite making a costly error in qualifying which saw him start from ninth on the grid.

Damon Hill has suggested the Miami Grand Prix performance from Max Verstappen demonstrates why he is a "cut above the rest" in the Formula 1 title battle.

The 1996 World Champion believes that Sergio Perez should have capitalised on the error made by the Dutchman during qualifying, which forced him to start from ninth on the grid.

Verstappen made his way through the pack in the opening stages, then managed to close the gap to Perez owing to a tyre strategy gamble made before the race.

Hill said this is down to his "brilliance" behind the wheel and exploiting everything he could.

"I totally admire Max's brilliance in the car and to actually be able to see how he could place that car and how he was exploiting everything that car had throughout that race," he told the F1 Nation podcast.

"Unfortunately the last run in qualifying was was a hiccup so Max didn't get his grid position. So given an opportunity like that and Sergio did not win, you have to say it was a demonstration of why Max is a cut above - not only Sergio - but also the rest of them."

Hill: Perez keeping Verstappen honest

Verstappen has openly admitting to preferring purpose-built facilities over street circuits, while Perez prefers the makeshift facilities and puts it down to his ability to "play with the car" setup.

But the Dutchman still managed to exhibit superior pace over Perez throughout the Miami GP weekend - with Pirelli admitting that it did not matter which strategy he chose.

Despite this, Perez has still managed to "keep him honest" having only finished outside of the top two at the Australian GP so far according to Hill.

"But I think Sergio is keeping him honest," he added.

"I think there are going to be times when, we've seen on some of these circuits in a straight fight [in] Baku and also Saudi, Checo was honestly better than than Max.

"I think Max was down in Baku, he looked 'out of sorts' but he was back on form there in Miami."

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