Perez has the opportunity to become the first Mexican driver to win their home F1 race this weekend but given he is mathematically out of championship contention, there have been suggestions that Red Bull could impose team orders to boost Verstappen’s title bid. 

During Thursday’s press conferences, Perez refused to directly answer whether Red Bull would allow him to win the race ahead of Verstappen but said he is “pretty sure” his team wants him to win his home grand prix. 

The scenario was then put to Red Bull team principal Horner, who admitted it would be “incredibly tough” to order Perez to move aside for Verstappen. 

“Our main objective is to win both championships and both drivers know the task involved to achieve that,” Horner said on Friday. 

“There are so many scenarios and what ifs that can happen, and it would depend on where our opponents are. 

“So you can’t rule it out, you can’t rule it in. Our preference, if Checo were in that position, would be for him to win his home race. There is no bigger result for a home driver. 

“But as a team we have to keep an eye on both of these championships and know what is at stake. This race, like any other, has the same amount of points attributable to it and therefore we treat it like any other race.” 

Former Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel siad he thinks Perez should not face what he called “bad” team orders if he has a chance of winning his home race, even if it would be logical from the team’s perspective. 

The four-time world champion also said he would be happy to see team orders banned from F1 altogether.

Horner expects team orders to be used more often as the title fight heads into its climax in the final five races. 

“Team orders are part of the sport being a team sport,” he explained. “Formula 1 isn’t just about the drivers, the drivers are one element of the team. 

“Their contract is a contract for the team and the constructors’ championship has equal, if not more weight to it, perhaps not the prestige to it. But that’s where the money is paid out. The benefit is there as well. 

“Drivers are part off the team and we operate as a team and that’s why team orders are sometimes necessary for the best interests of the sport. 

“I’ve got no doubt that you’ll see more and more of that at the sharp end of the championship over the remaining five races. 

“We’ll see as teams are going up against each other, whether it’s in the drivers’ or the constructors’, whatever battles are going on, Formula 1 is a team sport and everybody has their role to play as part of that team.”