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Perez explains what caused dramatic Turn 1 moment where he nearly tagged Verstappen in Miami

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MIAMI GARDENS, FL - MAY 05: Oracle Red Bull Racing driver Sergio Perez #11 of Mexico locks his

Sergio Perez has given an explanation for his dramatic lock-up into Turn 1 at the start of the Miami Grand Prix, with the Mexican overshooting the corner and only narrowly avoiding contact with team mate Max Verstappen.

After Charles Leclerc made a slow getaway from P2 on the grid, Carlos Sainz and Perez surged ahead to battle for the position while Verstappen led the way from pole.

READ MORE: Norris beats Verstappen for breakthrough maiden F1 victory in action-packed Miami Grand Prix

However, Perez suddenly locked up into the first corner and caused a heart-in-mouth moment for the Red Bull team when he came close to tagging Verstappen’s car.

Fortunately this was avoided, but the incident resulted in Perez dropping back to fifth while Leclerc reclaimed second.

2024 Miami Grand Prix: Perez overshoots Turn 1 and almost hits Verstappen on the race start

Reflecting on the close-call moment at the start, Perez suggested that a lack of grip had been the cause, citing a similar incident that befell Lewis Hamilton at Turn 1 during Saturday’s Sprint race.

“As soon as I dived [to the] inside of Charles, I could see as soon as I hit the brakes there was no grip at all, like we saw yesterday with Lewis,” said Perez. “Off-line here, especially into Turn 1, there’s no grip, zero grip down there, and I did struggle quite a bit unfortunately.”

READ MORE: Verstappen admits he could do nothing to stop ‘flying’ Norris as Dutchman heaps praise on rival for maiden F1 win

The six-time race winner failed to make much further ground throughout the rest of the race and ended the event in P5, before later being promoted to P4 after fourth-placed Sainz was handed a five-second time penalty for a collision with Oscar Piastri.

Perez talks us through Turn 1 moment when he almost hit team mate Verstappen

On why he had struggled to extract the same kind of pace he has displayed at recent races this season, Perez explained: “I think we were a bit off-balance.

“[It’s] something we have to review [to find out] what was going on there, and then make the best possible course in that regard and learn from the race, because we certainly lacked some good pace today.”

READ MORE: Leclerc reflects on Miami start incident with Perez as he admits Ferrari need to ‘catch up’ to McLaren after Norris victory

Despite the difficulties, Perez’s result helped him to maintain second place in the drivers’ standings, with the 34-year-old currently holding 103 points. There is increasing pressure from Leclerc in third, however, who is just five points behind in third place.

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