Red Bull’s participation in the F1 Miami Grand Prix nearly ended at the first corner following a close call between teammates Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen.

After making a fast start, Perez looked to dive down the inside of both Ferraris as he attempted to jump up to second, but the Mexican could not slow down his car and locked up heavily into Turn 1.

Onboard footage from Perez’s car showed he came within inches of wiping out Verstappen before running wide and dropping down to fifth.

“In hindsight, if I knew there was no grip on the inside, I wouldn’t have gone there in the first place,” said Perez, who finished fifth on the road but was promoted to fourth following a post-race penalty for Carlos Sainz.

“I went there because I thought it was going to be safe. But as soon as I hit the brakes, I could see that the car wouldn’t stop. I ended up front locking and I went straight.

“That meant basically that I nearly took Max out, so I had to release the brake to release the front locking.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner admitted Perez was “lucky” not to hit his teammate after what he described as being an “optimistic” start.

“His start was optimistic,” Horner explained. Charles didn’t have a great start ahead, I think that caused Checo… he had to lift for Charles and then he had a window into the first corner.

“He went for it, obviously got in very deep and was lucky not to collect Max at the first turn and not to collect the Ferrari coming back onto the track.

“So I was pleased to see most cars survive that.”

Verstappen, who finished second to McLaren’s Lando Norris, is convinced Perez scratched his diffuser as he lost control of his RB20.

“I was very aware. I turned in and I saw him lock up,” he said. “And I looked after the race, there was like a scratch on my diffuser. So something must have hit.

“But yeah, it was very close. Could have ended in a disaster, of course, for the team as well. So yeah, lucky.”