The under-pressure Perez suffered a heartbreaking exit to his home race after coming to blows with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at the first corner of Sunday’s grand prix.
Looking to capitalise on a rapid getaway off the line, Perez attacked Leclerc and Verstappen by attempting to sweep around the outside of the pair as they ran three-wide into Turn 1.
But Perez tangled with Leclerc’s front-left wheel, sending his Red Bull briefly airborne and flying off the circuit. He managed to recover to the pits but was forced to retire with his car heavily damaged.
Perez admitted with hindsight that he could have backed out of the move but insisted he “just wanted to give it all” in his failed bid to snatch the lead of the race.
“I mean, I understand because it’s his home Grand Prix,” Verstappen said in the post-race press conference. “You want to be on the podium, I fully understand that.
“He went around the outside, and he tried. Looking at the footage, I think he could have left a little bit more space, but at the other end if it would have worked, you know, you look amazing.
“And of course, I think it’s just more like that excitement of wanting to be on the podium and this time it didn’t work out, unfortunately.
“At the time, I didn’t really see a lot. At one point, I just saw that a car was a bit flying in the air, but then I saw the footage after the race and then you can comment on it.
“But while driving it’s a bit hard because I was mainly focusing on Charles, because I couldn’t see what was happening on the outside.”
Perez was forced to watch on from the garage as Verstappen cruised to a record-breaking 16th victory from 19 races this season.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton claimed second place to cut the gap to Perez in the championship down to just 20 points with three rounds remaining.