Nico Rosberg does not expect relations with Lewis Hamilton to become too strained if they end up locked in an intense 2014 Formula 1 title fight.
With their Mercedes team favourite for success this year, Rosberg is well aware that a tough battle at the front between himself and Hamilton could impact on a friendship that stretches back to their karting days.
"It will be tough for a friendship, yes," said Rosberg ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.
"Being a team-mate and, if you are fighting for some top results, it gets more and more difficult. But for now it has worked well.
"We were fighting for the championship in go karts and no problem... well, problems yes - but after a week then there were no more problems.
"It is OK and I am sure we will manage to sort it out."
VIDEO: Hamilton vs Rosberg analysed on The Racer's Edge
Rosberg is eager for the season to begin, and insists he is not worried about the prospect of taking on Hamilton in the same car if they do end up gunning for the championship.
"It is always going to be tough against him," he said. "He is very quick, but that is what I really enjoy about the sport - these challenges.
"That is what I am here for. I try to prepare as well as I can, and try to get the best out of every single area that is within my control - and then the rest will just have to wait and see."
There has been intense discussion over the winter about whether Rosberg's work ethic and astute approach to racing could help him overcome Hamilton.
Rosberg acknowledged that a clever approach in 2014 may well deliver some benefits, but said there were no guarantees.
"F1 has always been about understanding, getting the strategy right, and getting your set-up right," he said. "So it is not really too different.
"Maybe there is a little bit more of that now. And yes, it is an area where, if you get it all right as a driver, if you get the most of it, then you could have a little bit of an advantage over some of the others."
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