Sergio Perez has called on Mexican Formula 1 fans to send the right message to the world during the upcoming Mexico City Grand Prix weekend.
Perez's team-mate Max Verstappen is expected to be met with a hostile reception at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodrique amid his dominant campaign, having consistently had the upper hand on Perez this year.
Tension has spilled over between the pair in the past, being particularly evident at last season's race in Brazil when Verstappen refused to acknowledge a team order as Red Bull sought to help Perez finish second in the Drivers' Championship.
Perez started the current campaign on a strong note by winning two out of the opening four races and appeared to be able to challenging Verstappen for the title - but a poor run of form allowed the Dutchman to romp to a third title, including a record-breaking 10 race winning streak between Miami and Italy.
During the race weekend in Mexico, despite no indication of a threat, as a precaution by Red Bull, Verstappen will have bodyguards present around him to ensure his safety.
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Perez wants right message sent
When asked by media including RacingNews365.com if he thinks the rivalry could spill beyond what happens on the track, Perez said: "No, not at all.
“I think it's important that we give this message because I think the media likes to create this sort of rivalry outside the track.
"We are a great sport, we are a great example for a lot of younger generations. We should just be focused on the sporting side.
"Whatever happens on track should always stay there and that's the best message we as a country want to give to the rest of the world.
"There is nothing else going on. The most important is that everything [that happens] stays on track."