Red Bull driver Mark Webber believes the relationship between McLaren duo Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton will eventually take a turn for the worse.
The Australian believes his McLaren rivals are putting "smoke and mirrors up", but he feels it is inevitable that the competition between the two will make their relationship less harmonious.
"It's not easy to have a beautiful, fuzzy, warm relationship when a teammate is clearly a competitor," Webber was quoted as saying by Reuters. "That is absolutely the case at McLaren, too, I believe it. They are working hard to put a bit of smoke and mirrors up but those two are racing hard. If you are always racing at the front, inevitably it's going to come.
"I don't want the headlines to be Hamilton and Jenson are going to hit each other this weekend, that's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that it's inevitable given what's at stake: they are both hungry, both driven. If I don't care, if I've got no competition about me, no fire and desire about me, I'd get on with Seb [Vettel] like a house on fire."
Team boss Christian Horner agreed with his driver. He said: "Anybody who thinks Lewis and Jenson aren't competitive and won't push each other to the limit is sadly mistaken," said Horner. "It's inevitable…that in a competitive sport they will be pushing each other and perhaps won't be having so much of a love-in when that does happen. It will only take one small incident for things to flare up between the McLaren drivers, I'm sure."
Webber also admitted that a fierce rivalry with his teammate Sebastian Vettel was only natural given that both men are fighting in front.
"If Seb's drowning in the ocean I'd go in and help him out," he said. "We don't hate each other's guts ... but it [the rivalry] is totally natural."