Daniel Ricciardo acknowledges friction with Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen could be inevitable if the pair were challenge for the Formula One world title, describing it as "part of the game".
Mercedes' prolonged period of dominance in F1 continued in 2016, leaving the chasing pack struggling to keep up, as Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton once again battled for supremacy.
Red Bull were the best of the rest, but the gulf to Mercedes was such that Ricciardo and exciting newcomer Verstappen were able to race in harmony.
But amiable Australian Ricciardo is savvy enough to realise the positive working relationship is sure to be tested if Red Bull can challenge for glory.
Speaking to The Guardian, Ricciardo said: "I can't be naive and think we are still going to love each other no matter what, even if we are banging wheel to wheel every race.
"We are competitors. If there is tension or friction as the season goes on that's part of the game."
Red Bull have history when it comes to warring drivers, with Sebastian Vettel often at odds with Mark Webber during their time racing together between 2010 and 2013.
The prospect of a rivalry between the current line-up is one that would be sure to make motorsport enthusiasts purr given the fearless approach to racing held by Ricciardo and Verstappen.
And the older man recognises the importance of staying one step ahead of Verstappen.
"If Lewis [Hamilton] beats me in a Mercedes, I can tell the world he beat me because his car is better," he added.
"But if Max beats me every race I am going to run out of excuses, so certainly your team-mate is the number one person you want to beat.
"If I am putting myself out there and taking some of these risks, then I want to do it properly. If I am going to race I will put everything on the line."
|Halep brings in Dobre as new coach|
|NRL Opta facts: Burgess and Murray out to repeat strong starts in round two|
|Harper happy Trout blew him out the water|
|Morata unsurprised by reported Man City interest in Saul|
|Injured Alexander-Arnold pulls out of England squad|
|Martinez wants Icardi resolution|
|Morata defends Simeone from criticism|
|Pogba: Real Madrid is a dream for anyone|
|Tierney joins Robertson in missing Kazakhstan-Scotland|
|Ichiro´s standing ovation & A´s pitching woes - Five things you may have missed from MLB opener|
|De Jong asked Koeman for Barcelona advice|
|Proteas duo Ngidi and Nortje ruled out of IPL|
|Meet Brody Oliver - The engineering graduate set to test his NFL mettle|
|Rayo Vallecano reappoint Paco Jemez|
|Neres, Rice, Zaniolo and the most exciting debutants of the international break|
|Giroud hints at Lyon interest|
|PRB confirms all four Welsh regions will remain next season|
|Salah goals will come again, believes Klopp|
|Casillas to end career at Porto after signing new deal|
|Pogba wants Solskjaer to get permanent Manchester United job|
|Vunipola defends captain Farrell|
|Crazy season is testing Tottenham´s character, says Rose|
|Anscombe warns of potential Wales exodus|
|54 shots and lose 1-0 - Nacional Potosi suffer ultimate smash-and-grab defeat|
|Middleton: Bucks itching for the playoffs|
|SANZAAR to clarify Super Rugby future amid reports of Sunwolves axe|
|Trippier admits he ´could have done better´ for Tottenham|
|Thompson non-committal over World Cup|
|Heaton hails ´outstanding´ England rival Pickford|
|Ronaldo doesn´t have to prove anything – Cancelo|
|Bucks hand Lakers fourth consecutive loss|
|Menotti worried about ´very tired´ Messi|
|Gabriel Jesus: Post-World Cup most difficult moment of career|
|Rockets´ James Harden makes NBA history|
|Musso honoured to have Messi back with Argentina|
|Clippers coach Rivers denies report he´s interested in Lakers job|
|Former Packers linebacker Matthews signs with Rams|
|MLB preview: Projecting AL East|
|Raiders sign linebacker Burfict|
|Adrien´s a prisoner at PSG – Rabiot´s mother slams Ligue 1 champs|
|Navas criticises Solari over lack of Madrid chances|
|Vinicius: I chose Madrid project over Barca money|
|Griezmann´s sister denies Barcelona contact|
|Barkley on Beckham trade: I was sad to see him go|
|Fleming steps down as Stars head coach|
|Rain washes out Miami Open as Andreescu prepares for action|
|PSG condemn ex-Manchester United defender Evra´s comments|
|Cowboys sign former Packers wide receiver Cobb|
|Nations League glory would top World Cup run, says Kane|
|Chelsea star Hazard ´not working´ on Real Madrid move|
|Retiring Safarova set for Prague swansong|
|Giggs fires back at Ibrahimovic´s ´Circle of Ferguson´ jibe|
|Sterling ´spot on´ with media criticism, says England team-mate Rose|
|Miller times it right as South Africa take super route to victory|
|Panthers sign DE Bruce Irvin|
|Blues sign Wales wing Adams|
|Man Utd fan McGregor reveals admiration for Ronaldo, Ferguson and Solskjaer|
|PSG confirm knee injuries for Meunier and Alves|
|Wilder v Breazeale booked for Brooklyn in May|
|Sterling in the running for player of the year - Kane|
|Scarlets trio sign new contracts after Grand Slam heroics|
|She makes notes on every match - former coach hails hungry Andreescu|
|Kane confident Hudson-Odoi will shine for England|
|LeBron, Antetokounmpo to sit out Lakers-Bucks|
|Warrington wants unification fights - but first faces Galahad in June|
|Roglic snatches Tirreno-Adriatico victory by one second from Yates|
|Silva fined by FA for post-Newcastle ref rant|
|New date for Manchester City v Cardiff game|
|Trout reportedly set to sign record-breaking deal with Angels|
|PSG appeal against reopened FFP case upheld by CAS|