The Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff has described Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg as being like enemies in their head-to-head battle for this yeara��s Formula One world title.
With six races remaining, starting with Sundaya��s Singapore Grand Prix, just 22 points separate the pair as they fight it out for the sporta��s most prized trophy.
Reflecting on what has unfolded between them on the track this season, Wolff concedes there has been a noticeable deterioration in their roles as team-mates.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Wolff said: a�?It has changed from, leta��s say, an almost amicable relationship at the beginning of the season to a very intense moment, where it was almost like realising these two are enemies competing for the world title.
a�?Ita��s also a learning process. These boys have been calibrated their whole life that their main priority is to win the driversa�� championship in F1.
a�?And here they go – they are in the same car, competing against each other for that trophy, and one is going to win and one is going to fail.
a�?This is a new experience for them – a difficult experience maybe.a�?
On occasion Rosberg has shown a ruthless side to his nature, such as in Monaco during qualifying, and again in Belgium where he opted not to take avoiding action, instead colliding with the Briton and puncturing a tyre.
Wolff added: a�?There are 22 guys out there and all of them are ruthless. They know what they want and they will try to take it.
a�?Nico has always been like this. I dona��t know why anyone had the perception of him being Mr Nice Guy.a�?
As for Hamilton, who has again endured one of those rollercoaster campaigns that have become his trademark over the seasons, Wolff insists there is no need to change the 29-year-old.
a�?He has found his own way and developed extremely impressively and he doesna��t need so much management,a�? said Wolff.
a�?We need to understand what kind of background and environment we need to provide so he functions best.
a�?And it makes no sense to try to change a personality and say: a�?You know what, you need to have the Niki Lauda, or the Nico Rosberg, or the Fernando Alonso approach, and you dona��t need your dogs and you dona��t need your LA and you dona��t need your music.a��
a�?Thata��s not the case. Lewis needs all that. It is his personality and it makes him function well.a�? – The Guardian