Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has labelled Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff "a different kind of animal" when it comes to mind games in F1.
The battle on track between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton throughout 2021 was a ferocious one that was often matched off it by the war of words between Horner and Wolff.
The duo hurled barbs at one another before finally exchanging a cordial handshake ahead of what proved to be a controversial title-decider in Abu Dhabi.
Horner concedes Wolff takes the mental approach to another level.
"When we [Red Bull] fought with Sebastian Vettel against Fernando Alonso for the world championship [in 2012], Stefano Domenicali was Ferrari's team principal," reflected Horner in an interview with Formule 1 magazine.
"The competition at the time was of a different, let me say, 'gentlemen's level'.
"This [last season] has been intense both on and off the track. I think Toto plays it differently, he's a different kind of animal."
It is an aspect of F1 Horner concedes he is not particularly fond of.
“Do I like it? No. Is it part of the sport? Yes," assessed Horner.
"I don't know if I'm good at it, but I have a great love for the sport. I grew up in this industry and I think what you do on the track is the most important thing that matters.”
After guiding Verstappen to the title, Horner is fully expecting the usual suspects to be at the head of affairs again this year when new aerodynamic regulations kick in.
The midfield and back-of-the-grid teams see the rules as an opportunity for a shake up, but Horner added: “All the teams think they will have a great car. We will find out in Bahrain.
"We have a great team, there's no reason to believe we won't have a competitive car. I have every confidence in it.
"But the best teams will still be at the front, the worst at the back. There will be a split, as always. That will not change with new cars.”