Christian Horner has insisted there is "no relationship" with Toto Wolff and he does not need to "kiss his arse" to show his respect for Mercedes achievements in F1.
Tensions between the Red Bull and Mercedes team principals have frayed continuously throughout the season, with frustration boiling over again in the wake of the incident between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in Brazil last week.
After Mercedes' request to review the Dutchman's defence was dismissed, Horner was asked if there was still mutual respect in the relationship between himself and the Austrian.
"There is no relationship," said Horner. "There is a competition and it was interesting to hear Toto's views after the sprint race last week on his team radio.
"We are going to push to the maximum, we worked hard to get into this position. It is the first time they have been challenged, it is interesting to see how people react under pressure, how they react when they are challenged.
"It is by far the most intense political title fight we have been involved in in our time in the sport."
On whether respect remains, he added: "I think relationship and respect are two different things.
"There is respect for what Mercedes has done and everything that Lewis Hamilton has done but I don't need to go to dinner with Toto, I don't need to kiss his arse or anything like that. There are a few other team principles that might.
"So from my perspective, it is a competition. It is great we are in this position that we are fighting - fighting for the world championship, for the constructors' championship and it is the first time in seven years they have been challenged. That intensifies it."
Wolff claims "elbows are allowed now"
After the decision to throw out the review request was made, Wolff suggested the intention was to clarify racing "philosophy" given the inconsistency between the decision not to penalise Verstappen after Lando Norris and Sergio Perez were penalised for similar incidents in Austria this season.
Sitting alongside Horner and also asked if there was respect between the two parties, he replied: "There are many great people working at Red Bull and obviously many great people working at Mercedes. It is a hell of a fight.
"There is a respect for the capability that Red Bull has, definitely. It is clear that this is tough.
"It is the world championship of the highest category in motor racing and what started as Olympic boxing went to pro boxing and is now MMA. But that is ok, we are in the ring there, trying to do the best job possible.
"Elbows are allowed now because the rules say so and gloves are off. Nothing else is to be expected."