Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button on Tuesday shrugged off comments by 1996 World Champion Damon Hill that the fight between them will soon "boil over".
Hill told British media on Monday that he expected the battle between the McLaren duo to intensify as the season progresses.
"Jenson will not be letting Lewis get away with anything," Hill was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters. "Between the two British drivers in possibly the best car, you are going to have a very close and fascinating battle which is great for everyone. It's just been on simmer at the moment. It's going to start to boil over. This could be the start of the rest of the season."
Hill also compared the duo with the tortoise and the hare in their approach to racing.
"They have totally different approaches," Hill said in UK newspaper the Mirror. "One is Senna-esque and the other a Prost-like driver. So it's the tortoise and the hare, which is an unfair comparison calling a racing driver a tortoise."
On Tuesday, during a press conference, Button shrugged off the comments.
"They are his words and not mine," he said. "I won the World Championship last year because I was quick, and I won six races and was always there fighting. For me that is key to the championship. It is not always about just consistency. You need to be fighting at the front and you need to be challenging for victories all the time. That is exactly where I want to be."
Hamilton was also unmoved by Hill's remarks.
"I don't really have a reaction to it," Hamilton said. "I think it is always very interesting to hear past World Champions talk about present drivers and present World Champions, and to hear their thoughts.
"It is then interesting to see whether it plays out and whether it is true or false – and whether they actually know what they are talking about or not. You will find out later in the year I guess."
Button insisted both he and Hamilton are aware that they need to continue to work together in harmony to stay ahead of their rivals.
"You have friends in F1," he said. "We are friends with a lot of the drivers we are racing against as well and definitely we are in the same team and at the end of the season you want to be the best, not just in your team but on the grid.
"We are both very competitive and we both want to win, but as we keep saying, first of all you have to work together. You have to work closely to improve the car and I think we've done a very good job this year of pushing each other very hard, not just on the circuit but also off the circuit in developing the car and the setup. So for me it has been a good relationship and I am sure it is going to continue.
"If you are both quick, you are going to be racing wheel to wheel. We've had a bit of fun over the last few races but not as much fun as maybe other teams have."