Sergio Perez admits that he was perplexed by the gap to Max Verstappen during practice sessions at the Miami Grand Prix.
The Mexican had been struggling to match the pace of his Red Bull teammate earlier in the weekend, but secured pole position in Saturday's qualifying after a crash for Charles Leclerc brought an early end to the session.
Given his prior issues at the Miami International Autodrome, Perez was even more pleased to claim P1.
"I'm very pleased, because it's been a very difficult weekend for me up to qualifying," Perez told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"I think this tarmac is just very different to anything else. And I was just trying to figure out how to get the maximum out of the car, out of the balance, because even on my final lap, I was still finding things out that were working better.
"So we haven't had a straightforward weekend. So it tastes a lot better once you deliver under such a bad weekend."
Perez 'could not do' what Verstappen was doing
When asked about the problems he faced before qualifying, Perez explained: "I was mainly missing confidence.
"When I was looking at the data and seeing what Max was able to do, I could simply not do that and I was struggling a lot. It was not small differences, it was quite big.
"We did one good change [before qualifying], which I won't go into too much in detail obviously.
"But also just learning about the asphalt, I think, through qualifying and playing with a balance and finding that rhythm was much more important than I really thought, so I really got a good understanding in qualifying finally.
"So [I'm] now looking forward for tomorrow. I'm sure that will be able to translate that into race pace."
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Miami GP win would 'mean a bit more' for Perez
With many Mexican fans watching on in Miami, Perez feels that taking victory in the race would be particularly special for him.
"It's a very special weekend for me," the 33-year-old said.
"I have a lot of friends, obviously the Mexican and Latin community here is very big, so it will be really special for me to get the victory.
"It will be even more special. I think all the wins are super good, but this one will mean a little bit more.
"But still, [it's] a very long race ahead. I'm not really thinking about that. For now, I just found focus on my race preparation and get through it."
Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.