Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda has rubbished Bernie Ecclestone's claim that there is an "alliance" between his team and Ferrari.
Formula One supremo Ecclestone stated that Mercedes and Ferrari have an agreement which ensures they are "rowing in the same boat" amid disagreements between the leading manufacturers and the sport's powerbrokers.
But Lauda responded to set the record straight over Ecclestone's claims.
He told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "Let's clear one thing, Ferrari are a rival to Mercedes, and one that we must always defeat.
"We aren't talking about an alliance. In terms of politics and on major issues there are similar interests that Honda and Renault also agree on."
Ferrari finished second behind a dominant Mercedes in the constructors standings this year.