Damon Hill has questioned whether Sergio Perez might be quite so willing to concede to Max Verstappen should he have to do so at the upcoming Mexican Grand Prix.
Since joining Red Bull, Perez has proved himself to be a strong team player, having not only supported Verstappen on track but also being vocal in backing his teammate to win the title.
However, with his home race approaching, Hill wonders if it might prove more challenging for Perez if the scenario arose of having to give up a potential win to Verstappen.
"That's a problem they might have to navigate their way through, but diplomatically," Hill told the F1 Nation podcast.
"He conceded ground to Max in the esses [at the United States Grand Prix], on the first lap or second lap.
"I think he knows that he's there to help, but who would want to have to relinquish a possible Mexican Grand Prix victory if you're a Mexican driver?"
The Grand Prix in Austin wasn't an easy one for Perez, having completed the full 56 laps without a working drinks system amid air temperatures of around 35 degrees Celcius, leading him to label it his "toughest ever race".
Despite these difficulties, Perez still achieved a third-place finish and Hill agreed with fellow podcast contributor Tom Clarkson that it had been his best weekend yet for Red Bull.
"I think he was fantastic," Hill said. "It definitely was right on cue just before the Mexican Grand Prix, wasn't it? He did a fabulous job."
Perez's podium finish helped Red Bull to close the gap to Mercedes in the Constructors' Championship, with the deficit now cut to 23 points with five races remaining.
Meanwhile, Verstappen leads title rival Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers' standings by just 12 points.
F1 Podcast: Were Mercedes caught out by Red Bull's aggressive strategy call in Austin?
It's time for the latest episode of the RacingNews365 podcast, with F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Thomas Maher and Mike Seymour discussing the tense strategy battle between Mercedes and Red Bull and much, much more from the United States Grand Prix.