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Sergio Perez

Perez explains Verstappen near miss at Miami start

Sergio Perez's race in Miami almost ended in immediate disaster as he came extremely close to hitting team-mate Max Verstappen at the first corner.

Perez Verstappen close up
To news overview © XPBimages

Sergio Perez has opened up on his close call with team-mate Max Verstappen on the opening lap of the Miami Grand Prix.

Starting from fourth on the grid, Perez went deep into the braking zone at Turn 1 and was on the low-grip inside line as the approached the corner.

The Mexican driver locked up his tyre and appeared to make very slight contact with Verstappen's car, with the latter claiming he had a scratch on his diffuser after the incident.

However, Verstappen was able to continue, as was Perez, who endured a challenging race around the Miami International Autodrome en route to fourth.

“First of all, the start I had a good start and Charles [Leclerc] had a really bad start,” Perez told media including RacingNews365.

“Off-line there was no grip and I ended up locking [my tyres]. I nearly took Max out so I had to come off the brake and I lost the position to Oscar [Piastri].

“It was unfortunate but other than that, we were struggling for pace today. We just couldn’t manage to get the pace we needed.

“It’s something we’ve got to work on to try and understand why and what was the issue.

“It was quite close. As soon as I saw he was so close I came off the brakes and ended up going straight, so I ended up losing the position.”

Perez: McLaren faster than Red Bull in Miami

Red Bull was defeated for the second time this season as Lando Norris claimed victory in Miami, the first of his career.

Norris was fitted with a heavily upgraded package in Miami as McLaren continue to recover towards the front of the field.

Although Norris benefitted from pitting under a safety car, Perez asserted the Woking-based squad was faster overall throughout the weekend than Red Bull.

“They were very strong already in qualifying, I think they just messed up a bit in qualifying and couldn’t make the Soft tyres work,” Perez said.

“But I think they’ve been the fastest this weekend, we were probably a little bit behind. Lando put me under a lot of pressure on that first stint towards the end.”

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