Christian Horner and Toto Wolff remained cordial to each other in their sit-down with the media in Abu Dhabi on Friday, but the two team bosses agreed that they won't be going on holiday with each other.
The high-strung battle on the track between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton has extended off the track to a consistent match-up between Red Bull and Mercedes' top brass, with the latter defending their team's interests against the other camp's attacks, criticism or insinuations.
Horner admitted that when it comes to F1's high stakes, Wolff and himself share the same hard-line approach to the job of leading and defending their team.
"We're competing for two of the biggest trophies in sport and the competition is intense," said the Red Bull chief.
"I think, as characters, obviously we're quite different, but we share a same intensity, the same competitiveness.
"I will defend my team, I will defend my driver... both drivers to the hilt, because that's what you do. That's who you represent, that's who you look to protect.
"There's been competition on-track, off-track, and it's been pushing the boundaries, and Toto has done the same from his side.
"It has got heated and I think that's sport."
Horner made clear that his character precludes him from faking a friendly relationship with his Mercedes counterpart, or reining in his candid views.
"For me, it would be artificial to sit here all throughout the season and be all smiles with your biggest competitor," he said.
"I can't do that, because that wouldn't be being true, it wouldn't be being honest.
"Emotions all over, we're in a competitive sport, that's Formula 1! It shows the intensity of the competition, the intensity between the teams. It's given you guys [the meida] something to write about, but I think it's just been honest, more than anything.
"It would be totally fake to sit here and say how much we love each other and that we're going to go on holiday after this weekend.
"Because I'm not going on holiday with you after this weekend, by the way!" Horner quipped, turning to Wolff, to which the Mercedes agreed, insisting: "It wouldn't be much fun!"
"I would agree with Christian," said Wolff as he picked up where Horner left off.
"I think there is mutual respect for the job that the other team has done.
"They wouldn't be where they are, competing for these championships all along, but it is just too intense.
"I stand for the team and the interest of the team, and that can be fierce at times, because it's not only the drivers who are battling on track. It's a fight for an advantage in the regulations.
"Obviously, we have also certain biases that come from different perspectives and different perceptions. I can understand that rationally, but if things go against the team, or against the two drivers, I can get quite emotional in the moment.
"Christian has his own way of dealing with it, as he said, [we have] very different personalities. But it is justified for this trophy, and one of the most important prizes in sport is a World Championship.
"That's why you cannot expect a lot of shmoozing between drivers, team principals and all the team."