Max Verstappen warns F1 rivals over perfection after Miami Grand Prix victory

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Max Verstappen has warned his title rivals he is striving for perfection in 2023 after winning Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix.

The two-time world champion was in a class of his own as he climbed from ninth on the grid to win his third race of the season from five races.

It extended his advantage over teammate Sergio Perez to 14 points in a championship which is currently little more than a two-horse race.

But Verstappen, despite a near-perfect performance for his Red Bull team said, “It was better than expected. But it’s important to be close to 100 per cent every time. It’s a long time but I try to always be as close as possible to perfect.”

Sergio Perez had looked race favourite when he parked his car on pole position as Verstappen started a lowly ninth place after failing to record a fast lap when Charles Leclerc crashed and brought a premature end to qualifying.

And the Mexican, who had the chance to overtake his teammate as championship leader with victory, admitted he was at a loss to explain Verstappen’s superior pace.

He said: “Max was stronger and we have to understand why and get back to our normal level for Imola.”

It was a fourth Red Bull one-two in five races this season and, despite another dominant race win, team principal Christian Horner said his team were pushing to get better yet this season despite the team’s best ever start to a season.

He said: “Five races and five wins plus the sprint plus four one-two finishes, we’ve never had a start like this. You’re always looking to improve. You can’t stand still. There’s always something you can learn. The team is operating at such a high level.”

Red Bull look on course to run away with both the constructors and drivers’ championship such is their current dominant pace.

And Horner admitted he was bemused by the lack of challenge from other teams on the grid. “We’re kind of wondering where are the others,” he said. “Where did Ferrari and Mercedes go?”