Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez say they will respect one another in any inter-team battle after proving closely-matched yet again in qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix.

The pair will line up sixth and seventh - Hulkenberg leading Perez - after a strong qualifying session for the Force India team in Sochi, the two drivers split by less than a tenth in their battle to get onto the third row.

In a good position to target points and consolidate Force India's fifth position in the constructors' standings, both drivers say they have been given the green light to race one another... so long as they don't make contact with each other.

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"We're free to race but we're also not free to take each other out of course," Hulkenberg said. "So we need to take the points in the team's interest, which we're going to do. We're both racers and I think we know how far we can take it on the track but obviously there is a limit where the team's interest comes first."

With just one point between the two drivers in the fight for tenth in the drivers' standings, Perez reiterates the importance of respect in inter-team tussles.

"We're both very experienced, we both race very hard. We've done it in the past and tomorrow I will try to get him and at the same time he will try to beat me. Obviously we must have respect as with any other driver out there."