Perez controlled the race from pole position, while Verstappen sliced through the field after starting the race down in ninth.

Verstappen’s pace was electric, even out-pacing Perez on his worn hard tyres.

Is Max Verstappen a HYPOCRITE? | F1 2023

When Verstappen ultimately stopped on Lap 46, he rejoined just under two seconds behind Perez.

It wasn’t long until he was past, making the most of his new medium tyres, before pulling away and setting the fastest lap in the process.

It means Verstappen is now 14 points clear in the F1 drivers’ championship after five rounds.

Speaking after the race, Perez acknowledged that Verstappen’s pace was simply too strong to contend with in Miami.

"Overall he was the stronger driver today," Perez said. "I have been stronger in other places, but today he was the strongest one and well done to him.

"I think the medium was a weak tyre early on and I ended up boxing earlier than I wished because I was pushed by Max, and he was very strong on his first stint.

"It compromised our race and made things a bit harder for us but all in all, Max was stronger than us today and we have to understand why and get back to our normal level for Imola.

"I think the performance that he showed today was unreachable for me, so I have to understand why."

Verstappen and Perez went wheel-to-wheel for the lead on Lap 49, with the Dutchman using DRS into Turn 1 to get the move done.

Reflecting on the battle with Verstappen, Perez added: “Obviously at the end of the day, we have to put the team ahead of us. 

“We are just two drivers but there are so many people working back home and working really hard we have to show respect.  

“In the end we had a really good fight between us and I think a bit more would have meant contact and I don’t think that will have been fair for any of us.”