As the Miami GP commenced, Sergio Perez sat in pole position, confident and assured that he could continue his title push.
However, the Mexican eventually lost out to Max Verstappen, with the reigning World Champion starting the grid in ninth place.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was quick to straighten out speculation that team strategy let Perez down.
“I think if he’d been on the other strategy as well the performance would have been very similar today,” Horner claimed.
“I think he was obviously frustrated with himself after quali, that he (Verstappen) 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.”
Horner’s comments came after the decision to start the two Red Bull drivers on different tyres backfired for Perez. Verstappen started the race on the hard compound tyres, whereas Perez was on mediums.
Understandably, the Mexican will be curious as to how Verstappen was able to muster up such total preeminence.
The flying Dutchman made a sinecure of the Miami Grand Prix – breezing past his opponents with tenacity and ease.
A Verstappen victory never once looked in jeopardy, despite his teammate and championship rival starting in pole position.
Perez embarked upon a fortuitous weekend. A Charles Leclerc qualifying crash limited Verstappen to ninth, providing Perez with a huge opportunity to close the gap on a slender championship lead.
After the Miami GP, Perez stated: “All in all, Verstappen was stronger than me this Sunday. We have to investigate why that was the case and during the race weekend in Imola, we have to get back to our normal level.
“The performance that Verstappen showed was unattainable for me. We need to understand why that was. The tyre story didn’t help, but overall he was the better driver.
“I’ve been stronger on other weekends but this Sunday Max was the better one. He did a good job, but we need to understand what went wrong on our end.”
It will be interesting to see how events unfold and whether or not Christian Horner will be able to attain harmony between his Red Bull drivers.
With Mercedes and Ferrari off the pace, the championship is surely between Verstappen and Perez, and it’s fair to say Verstappen has been Red Bull’s golden boy for some time now.