Miami GP 2023: After strong fight, Sergio Perez accepts defeat to Max Verstappen

While Verstappen steadily advanced from ninth to the front on hard tyres, the Mexican led Fernando Alonso off the starting line on medium tyres.

Max Verstappen (left) with Sergio Perez. (Image: Twitter/Oracle Red Bull Racing)
By Nilavro Ghosh | May 8, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

For the 2023 Miami Grand Prix, Max Verstappen started on pole but finished second behind his Red Bull teammate, who made an incredible comeback from ninth place. The Mexican driver acknowledged that the reigning champion earned his victory. Verstappen finished ninth after Charles Leclerc’s spin on Saturday ended Q3 and put Perez in first place on the starting grid. While Verstappen steadily advanced from ninth to the front on hard tyres, the Mexican led Fernando Alonso off the starting line on medium tyres.

Verstappen took the lead when Perez pitted for hard compounds; he later regained it when Verstappen changed to new medium tyres, but he was unable to hold off the two-time champion for very long. “Yeah, I mean I tried – I gave it all,” said Perez. “I think the first stint was really poor with the graining that we had on that initial pace. And that compromised quite a lot of our race. We didn’t have too much of a difference on tyre, and Max was particularly strong today, so a well-deserved win for him. “We had a bit of a fight on track which was quite clean – to the limit but clean – but putting the team in front of us. Again, a great team result but today Max deserved the victory because he was the strongest car out there.”

Read More – Miami GP 2023: We want more, says Fernando Alonso after four podiums in five races

“I think the medium initially was really poor. Worse than expected. I think that really compromised our pace, and in all honesty, I think Max also had tremendous pace on the hard tyre, and I think I’ve got to analyse what went wrong today because we simply didn’t have the pace… and hopefully be [back] to our normal pace in Imola,” the Mexican said when asked about his strategy. “You cannot afford a bad weekend, so a bad weekend needs to be a P2,” he added.

Verstappen wins in Miami

In the Miami Grand Prix on Sunday, Max Verstappen defeated Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez to win. After qualifying ninth, Verstappen overtook the pole-sitter in the closing laps to reclaim the 2023 championship lead. Perez had cut Verstappen’s lead in the championship to just six points with a Sprint and Grand Prix double in Azerbaijan last time out, and a wild qualifying session at the Miami International Autodrome gave him a great chance to overtake Verstappen.

Verstappen, on the other hand, skillfully extended his initial stint on hards to rise from P9 to P1 through a series of fine moves, and he eventually emerged just behind his teammate with a fresh set of mediums late in the race. Perez, on the other hand, led the first half of the race on a medium-hard tyre strategy. Verstappen easily passed Perez with 10 laps left to take the lead, and he would not give it up. As a result, Perez was forced to settle for second place and lost some of the ground he had gained in the title race.