Lewis Hamilton says he doesn't need to remain friends with team-mate Nico Rosberg as they continue their occasionally strained rivalry with one another in the current era of Mercedes' dominance.
Hamilton won back to back F1 titles in 2014 and 2015, the third of his career, but did so against the continuing uneasy backdrop of tension between himself and Rosberg, who felt the Englishman was 'too aggressive' at times in their on track battles this year.
With Rosberg out-performing Hamilton in the final three races of the season, he went on to subsequently justify the change in momentum as being down to a change in the car making him 'worse', rather than his team-mate necessarily driving better.
However, while the tensions have remained relatively low key in 2015, Toto Wolff has hinted that continued discord could force Mercedes into a driver re-think for the future.
For Hamilton though, he insists he is simply doing what is asked of him by team by winning the world championship, whether that is against a rival or a team-mate
"On the racing side of things you have to be tough,” he told the BBC
. You can't be nice out there, and go: 'Hey, here's some space'. I mean business. I'm not here to make friends, to finish the race and say: 'Hey, that was a lovely race, chap, you were so friendly with me, you let me win.'
"This is the one opportunity and you take it. That doesn't mean wiping someone out or cheating but you have to be fierce, strong and hard to as much of the limit as you can be. You can ask every world champion, if you're on the outside, you have to back off."
Indeed, Hamilton feels Rosberg 'complains' more than he does, but suggests it is down to their different backgrounds.
“You've seen he complains about a lot of things. But you kind of let it go over your head because that's just the way he is. It's kind of the different background we come from, I