Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his antagonism with Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner is "absolutely genuine" and due to there being so much at stake currently in F1.
After fighting tooth and nail once again in Saudi Arabia last weekend, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton will head into next weekend's finale in Abu Dhabi level on points.
But the pair's intense rivalry on the track this season which has featured several high-profile flash points has almost been mirrored off the track by an equally contentious matchup between Wolff and Horner, their respective team bosses.
The two team principals have lost their cool at times and indulged in put-downs or mockeries according to incidents and events.
Asked on the latest F1 Nation podcast if the animosity between himself and Horner was real, Wolff said: "It's absolutely genuine, because there's so much at stake.
"It's ambitious people, ambitious teams that are fighting really tooth-to-nail for this championship. And once you're in that, there's just no ability in your mind to even create a space for another person, at least for me.
"I have no negative nor positive emotions, but I'm trying to really stay in that place. Sometimes I was carried away when I heard comments that annoyed me, but only twice this season.
"The rest is no emotion, neither positive nor negative."
Wolff added that current circumstances but also their very different personalities preclude the two team bosses from enjoying a "normal" accord.
"It is impossible to just have a relationship, because there's so much at stake" reiterated the Austrian.
"Everybody's just trying to defend the interests of the team. We are very different personalities, also, [in] the way we probably perceive the world.
"I try to just stay authentic to what I believe is right, and he does it his way. Maybe in the future we can have a laugh about it, but not today."