Alpine recruit Pierre Gasly believes too much emphasis has been put on his relation with Esteban Ocon, and that there are worse relationships between teammates up and down the F1 paddock.
Childhood karting foes Gasly and Ocon will be sharing the garage at Alpine this season, with the former replacing Fernando Alonso at the Enstone squad.
There was no love lost between the pair during their formative years in motorsport, and their rapport remained icy at the start of their careers in Formula 1.
While some believe that the intense rivalry between the two drivers will be revived at Alpine, both men have signaled their intention of working productively together in their mutual interest and more importantly, in the interest of their team.
And they know that Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer will be looking over their shoulders and keeping his chargers honest.
Gasly says the media's spotlight is shining way too bright on the pair.
"To me, it's a topic which is way too much talked about," he told Motorsport.com.
"We get on well. Okay, we are not best friends, but we get on.
"We did some events, we speak to each other, and when I look down the paddock, the relationship between other teammates, I think there are definitely [some] worse than us.
"If you want to discuss about me and Esteban, you can probably talk about the relationship between 60 per cent of the guys down the paddock. So no, we're fine."
Gasly admitted that whoever is sitting on the other side of his team's garage is a rival he will want to beat, and the 26-year-old isn't underestimating Ocon's talent and skills.
"I know that he's an extremely good driver," Gasly said.
"He showed it with Fernando. He [was] on par with Fernando in the championship for the points, so he's obviously performing very well.
"At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter who is next to me. I want to be the best in Formula 1, and to be the best in Formula 1, you've got to face whoever is racing in this paddock.
"For me it's great. He knows the team. I know he's fast. And that's what you need as well as a teammate, to push the team forward and make the step that we have to make over the next few years."
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