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Max Verstappen

Verstappen claims Perez strike caused Red Bull damage

The Red Bull driver finished second in Miami, having survived an incident with team-mate Sergio Perez at the start.

Verstappen Miami race
To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen has claimed that Formula 1 team-mate Sergio Perez caused minor damage to his Red Bull at the start of the Miami Grand Prix.

From pole position, Verstappen led into Turn 1, but from fourth on the grid, Perez went deep and locked up, appearing to hit the rear of the sister RB20.

As he had done all throughout the weekend, Verstappen suffered with balance issues in the race, including a bollard-strike at Turn 15 which caused minor wing and floor damage, and triggered the brief virtual safety car on Lap 28.

Verstappen was set to inherit the race lead back after the pit-stop cycle, but Lando Norris was able to pit under the full safety car and emerge in the lead, bolting on the restart to win by 7.6s for his first F1 win.

Reflecting on the near-miss, Verstappen felt he picked up some minor damage from the Perez incident.

"It was very close and could have ended badly," Verstappen told Viaplay.

"I think I had a scratch on my diffuser, and he braked 50 metres later than everybody else, but fortunately, nothing happened."

After the safety car restart, Verstappen was not able to keep pace with Norris, eventually finishing second for the first time since the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and predicted the battle with the McLaren would have been close.

"Without the safety car, it would have been a fight to the end, and I think it was seven or eight seconds, so we were ahead of him," he added.

"But they were faster, so we have some work to do, it wasn't our day, but that can happen."

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