Max Verstappen has laid responsibility for finishing second in the drivers' championship squarely at the feet of team-mate Sergio Perez while the Mexican believes his Red Bull team-mate will aid his cause.
Red Bull has never had its drivers finish first and second in the world championship despite having won the competition seven times (including this year).
Securing second for Perez, given Red Bull has also wrapped up the constructors' championship, is therefore the focus.
However, Verstappen has suggested there will be little charity from his side.
“I think that it shouldn't always matter on me to get points,” Verstappen said of his team-mate's quest.
“I'm confident Checo can stay ahead because I do think that on average we have the faster car.
“I think also last year, it wasn't really well spoken about that before we go into the race weekend, but let's just hope we don't get into that situation.”
That contrasts Perez's position on the matter which suggests he's under a different impression.
“No, we haven't thought about it,” he said of the prospect of having Verstappen help if should the opportunity need it.
“If the situation arises, I'm sure I'll have support from Max.”
In Abu Dhabi in 2021, Perez earned the nickname the ‘Minsiter for Defence' for keeping a charging Lewis Hamilton at bay in the championship-deciding finale.
However, at last year's Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Verstappen refused to hand sixth place back on the final lap when Perez had been moved aside five laps earlier.
When the Dutchman was unable to make inroads on Fernando Alonso ahead, the team asked him to cede the place back to his team-mate, a request he refused.
Perez finished seventh in that race to score six points instead of a possible eight. Charles Leclerc ended the year three points ahead of the Mexican.
Verstappen was unapologetic in that instance, highlighting a fundamental difference of opinion between the two drivers.
“As a team, our focus very much going into Abu Dhabi with Charles and Checo tied on points is to do our best that we can to support Checo to achieve second place,” said team boss Christian Horner at the time.
“Max's obviously made that commitment as well, so as far as we're concerned it's about looking forward, not looking backwards.”
Three races remain in 2023, with this weekend's Sao Paulo GP leading into a back-to-back conclusion to the year in Las Vegas in two weeks' time before Abu Dhabi a week later.