Max Verstappen has asserted that he is hoping to avoid a repeat of the team order drama that occurred between him and Sergio Perez in last season's Brazilian Grand Prix.
Verstappen overtook Perez late on in the race 12 months ago for sixth place but was requested by Red Bull before the chequered flag to let his team-mate back through, as Perez was fighting for second place in the standings with Charles Leclerc.
However, Verstappen refused to hand the position back and blasted his team over the radio for attempting to orchestrate the swap, marking the first major flashpoint of the partnership between himself and Perez.
While Verstappen is hopeful that Perez will be on form to take second in this year's championship, leading Lewis Hamilton by 20 points with three rounds to go, he believes it would be "better for everyone" if team orders weren't used.
“I think at the end of the day, it shouldn't always matter on me to get the points,” he told media including RacingNews365.
“I’m confident that Checo can stay ahead because I do think that on average we have the faster car.
“I think also last year, [the team orders situation] wasn't really well spoken about before we got into the race weekend.
“Let's just hope that we don't get into that situation. I think it's better for everyone.”
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Versatppen coy over win chances
Verstappen enters the weekend looking to take his 17th victory of the season in Brazil.
Despite a dominant performance in Mexico last week, the Dutchman is far from certain that the RB19 will be as competitive again in Interlagos.
“Last year we didn't have a great race weekend here and now the Sprint format makes it quite difficult to be on top of things straight away," he said.
“We had a few ideas why last year was not great. [Now there's] one practice session to make sure that it's better this year.
“I think there's a lot of high degradation here. The way you have to set up the car, with a lot of low-speed corners, I don't think our car is particularly amazing in the low-speed corners, I guess we’ll find out.
“Last year, it was definitely not a great weekend so we'll definitely have to try and do better.”