Robert Kubica expects the intense rivalry between title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will continue as long as Mercedes dominates Formula 1.
Kubica knows the pair well having raced with them in karting, as well as in F1, and believes that the high pressure of fighting for a championship with your team-mate inevitably creates tension.
"When you are only fighting against your team-mate, it can get quite difficult," Kubica told AUTOSPORT.
"If there are some other drivers close, you have to focus to finish second, but in the current situation Nico and Lewis need to have a very bad day not to finish in the top two.
"But when you have more competition, you have to avoid bad days, as if you are sixth there is a bigger loss of points.
"So this might help the relationship but now they know they are only driving against each others as the others aren't something to worry about because Mercedes has such a big advantage.
"It's not easy, but they know each other very well and I think it is not as bad as the media would like to see it.
"But it would be tense because that is normal when you are fighting for wins and the championship."
Kubica added that he does not envy Mercedes chiefs Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda amid the current discord.
"In the current situation, Toto and Niki have a big role," said Kubica.
"I remember I was watching the race in Bahrain and there was a shot of Toto on the pitwall, for sure I would not like to be in his position.
"It is a delicate situation because you have two great drivers with a big car advantage over the others."
Although Kubica sees Hamilton as the faster in terms of raw speed, he has also been impressed with the way Rosberg has evolved as a driver.
The German's victory in the Monaco Grand Prix was his first of the year in a battle with Hamilton, as his team-mate retired early from the season-opener in Australia.
"If you ask 100 people who know Nico and Lewis, they would always tend to say Lewis is the faster guy," said Kubica.
"But speed is not the only important thing in F1.
"Overall, Nico has improved a lot over the past two or three seasons, especially how he's approaching the races."
This week's AUTOSPORT magazine (out on Thursday) features an in-depth interview with Kubica about life without F1, as well as explaining why Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso both believe he was world championship material. Available in print, digital or via iTunes