Sergio Pérez is shocked that he did not cross the line as race winner in Miami. Teammate Max Verstappen managed to overtake the Mexican and after that it was impossible for Pérez to get anywhere near first place. At Speedweek.com Pérez says he does not understand how this could have happened and that at this stage he cannot afford a bad weekend, which in his eyes is anything lower than P2.
After a start from pole position and a steady race, Pérez finished second in Miami after being overtaken by Verstappen. It seemed as if Verstappen wanted to show what he still has up his sleeve. He started in P9 but drove all the way to victory with no one, not even his own teammate, capable of stopping him.
Pérez: 'My race was jeopardized by the worn tires'
Pérez's plan was actually to claim first place on the leaderboard after Miami by securing a victory in Florida. It would have made him the first Mexican to lead the championship since Pedro Rodríguez in 1967. In the end, his teammate threw a spanner in the works. Verstappen also drove the fastest lap time.
Pérez did achieve his 30th podium in F1, but of course that is not what he was after. His eyes were set on another victory. 'I really tried everything and I don't understand why it didn't work out,' the Mexican driver told me after the race. 'In the first part of the race the tires wore out like crazy, therefore I couldn't pace myself and that jeopardized my race. Verstappen, on the contrary, went very fast on his hard tires, so I want to congratulate him on the victory.'
Horner: 'On paper, Pérez had the best strategy'
Furthermore, Pérez was not too pleased with the tires during the race. 'It was worse than we expected, the pace just wasn't there. Hopefully this won't be an issue when we get to Imola.' Team boss Christian Horner agrees with his driver. 'On paper, Checo had the best approach, which was to start on mediums and switch to hard tires. The strategy didn't matter in the end, Max (Verstappen, ed.) was just faster.'
Pérez still wants to compete with his teammate and fight for the championship. 'Right now I can't afford a bad weekend,' he told the official website of Formula 1. 'A bad weekend is anything under P2, but really you just have to win everything.' The Mexican hopes to be back on top at the next Grand Prix in Imola.
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