Sergio Perez says there was no point in fighting Max Verstappen and risking in F1 Miami GP, as Christian Horner weighs on strategies.

No sooner had the dust settled in the F1 Miami GP than the paddock were singing praises of the Red Bull once more in light of another 1-2. This time it was the reigning champion Verstappen who took his third win of the campaign with a calculated performance with a killer instinct from the fag end of the Top 10.

He won it by over five seconds from his teammate Perez who had started from pole.  Verstappen was ninth on the grid and wasted no time in scything through the field. Even the Mexican himself struggled against holding him up and he didn’t want to make it more difficult knowing that he didn’t have much.

“Yeah, obviously at the end of the day we have to put the team ahead of us,” said Perez. “We are just two drivers but there’s so many people working back home and working really hard we have to show respectful. In the end we had a really good fight between us and I think a bit more will have mean contact and I don’t think that will have been fair for any of us. Only for Fernando.”

For Perez himself, it was a good race from a team viewpoint and a sort of mini celebration with his 30th career podium, the majority of which have been with Red Bull. He added further insight into his race, talking about the tyre issues he suffered to a certain extent, especially with the medium which troubled most who started on it.

“It started well, but very early on, I saw that the Medium was very fragile, initially, so I had to protect the tyre quite a lot just to make lap 15 or so,” recalled Perez. “And it was really hard to lean on that tyre. Basically, the whole right hand side was really difficult. And yeah, I could see that Max was closing up on the Hard.

“And from that point on, I knew that the race was looking difficult. And then when I went onto the Hard, Max had very strong pace, so we didn’t manage to open a gap. So yeah, he simply came too close to us. And we had a bit of a fight on track, which was quite clean – to the limit, but clean and obviously putting the team in front of us as I said.

“Again, a great team result, but obviously, today Max deserved the victory because he was the strongest car out there.” Starting from Pole, Perez was obliged to start on the medium as had he not, it could have been a case where he lost out to those around him at lights out time. It seemed like the mediums would hold up but it didn’t.

Verstappen played the long game and started on the hard compound and went so deep in to the race which helped him eventually. “When you are starting on pole, starting on the Hard is much more like a gamble that can go right or wrong with Safety Cars and, I think at the time, none of us were expecting the Medium to be… because pretty much the whole grid went for the Medium start, I think none of us realised how weak of a tyre it was.

“I think once we did a few laps on it, we realised that it was quite a poor tyre,” noted Perez. Team boss Horner concurs insofar, as he stated that even if Verstappen had been on the same strategy, he still would have similarly impressive as he was on the strategy he selected. Basically suggesting that Perez was always going to be second best on the day.

“I think it’s swings and roundabouts of sport, isn’t it?,” said Horner. “A week ago he was on a high. But I don’t think he’ll be too disappointed. He’s still taking away 18 points from here. I don’t think there’s anybody that would have beaten Max. The first 10 laps, he was very much managing the pace.

“And I think he was nervous about the front right. And as we started to see other teams start to get a bit of graining I think he was driving well within himself and the car to protect that front right. And then he started to push after the first 10 laps and start to build a lead.

“And I think probably with 20/20 hindsight, I think if you looked at the race again, he could have pushed harder in that in that first stint, because the medium tyre actually turned out to be a very good tyre as we saw with Fernando actually going quite a long way. I think if he’d been on the other strategy as well the performance would have been very similar.

“I think he was obviously frustrated with himself after quali, that he made a mistake, and then obviously didn’t get the chance to rectify that. And I think he was confident coming into the race today, and just wanted to do something slightly different,” summed up Horner.

Here’s the teammate pass:

Here’s Christian Horner on Adrian Newey, Franz Tost on Helmut Marko

Here’s Max Verstappen, George Russell on their approach

Here’s whats happening between Red Bull and Ferrari with Laurent Mekies

Here’s how F1 Miami GP panned out