The tension that currently exists between Red Bull and Mercedes isn't likely to go away any time soon, according to RacingNews365 F1 journalist Dieter Rencken.
Following the Hungarian Grand Prix, where Red Bull had their race ruined at the start by an error from Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, a contrite Toto Wolff went up to Christian Horner to attempt to apologise. Horner could be seen blocking Wolff's attempted apology, with the Mercedes team boss turning back with indignation as Horner stormed off.
"If we take this particular incident in isolation, then probably Christian is in the wrong," Rencken told Thomas Maher on the RacingNews365 F1 Podcast.
Referring back to the statement from Mercedes that was issued after Red Bull failed to get the stewards to agree to a review of the Silverstone penalty handed to Lewis Hamilton, Rencken felt the Brackley team had been needling at Red Bull.
"However, if we take the statement that was issued by Mercedes on Thursday evening after the review verdict, I thought that was very, very unnecessary what they did there," Rencken said.
"It was almost as though they were crowing about the fact that Red Bull hadn't been successful with a review. Now, let's not forget that in that particular case, Lewis Hamilton was still judged predominantly to blame, the penalty still stood, as do the penalty points stand. So in real terms, Mercedes didn't win anything, Red Bull just didn't gain anything."
Asked whether the relationship is likely to improve over the second half of the season, Rencken explained that the heat of the championship battle is likely to mean this tension continues until, at least, the end of the season.
"I doubt so Thomas, I believe that the rivalry is so intense that things cannot get better, certainly not in the short term. I think at the end of the year, they may look back on it all and say 'Let's reset'," he said.
"But I think that the the rivalry is also very necessary in terms of each seeking that millimetre of advantage that is so crucial to winning a world championship battle under these circumstances, they're going to need every single muscle, sinew and fibre aimed at winning the championship.
Under the circumstances, the rivalry can only get more intense. I think the important thing is to keep it clean and keep it non personal. But I think the rivalry will certainly be there, and I think it will increase."
Listen back to the new episode of the RacingNews365 F1 Podcast below!