Sergio Perez believes a setup change was vital to securing pole position for the 2023 Miami Grand Prix.
Perez, who had been slightly slower than his teammate during practice, found his sweet spot during qualifying as he took his second pole position of 2023, after topping the times on his first run.
Charles Leclerc‘s crash towards the end of Q3 prevented his rivals, including Max Verstappen from going faster.
“I was mainly missing confidence I was looking at the data and seeing what Max was doing I simply couldn’t do that,” Perez told the press. “I was struggling a lot, and it wasn’t a small difference it was quite big.
“We did one good change, which I won’t go into too much detail, but just learning about the asphalt, I think through qualifying and playing with the balance and finding the rhythm was much more important.
“I really got a good understanding in qualifying, so now I’m looking forward to tomorrow, I am sure I’ll be able to translate that into race pace.”
Focused on the race ahead
With teammate Verstappen down in ninth after a mistake on his first run, Perez has a perfect chance to capitalise on his teammate’s mistake and take the championship lead heading into Imola.
With Miami notoriously limited for overtaking opportunities, a good launch will be crucial for Perez to manage the first stint to his liking.
“I am mainly focused on getting a good start and managing our first stint,” said Perez. “I think it will be really helpful for all of us to do that. It’s a very long race, and still, a lot can happen tomorrow.
“I think the race will be a lot easier already yesterday, I had very good pace although I was struggling for balance [in practice] we put fuel in the car, and things came naturally to me.
“Still a very long race ahead I am not really thinking about [the win], but I just want to focus on my race preparation tomorrow.”