Formula 1’s governing body the FIA is prepared to investigate whether Sergio Perez deliberately crashed during Monaco Grand Prix qualifying in May.
The question is at the heart of a row over team orders at Red Bull that erupted in Brazil last weekend.
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: “I didn’t have anyone who said we want to investigate it from our side.
“But if there is something to be investigated, we are more than happy. I am not shy or afraid of going into it.”
Ben Sulayem added that he would speak to world champion Max Verstappen about the matter.
Verstappen has not publicly revealed his reasons for refusing an order to let team-mate Perez by for sixth place at Interlagos last Sunday.
But multiple sources have said that the Dutchman believes Perez deliberately crashed on his final qualifying run in Monaco in May, preventing Verstappen from improving and taking a place on the front row of the grid.
As it was, Perez qualified third ahead of Verstappen and went on to win the race after Ferrari made a strategy error with race leader Charles Leclerc.
On Thursday, Perez described the claim as “speculation” and “rumours”, adding: “That rumour is wrong.”
F1 rules forbid unsporting actions, and leave the FIA a range of options in terms of punishment if it discovers them.
Red Bull are considered unlikely to volunteer any information on the matter as it would further disrupt team harmony, which has already been badly affected by the row in Brazil.